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BS: American English usages taking over Brit

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Subject: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

I have long been exercised by the way that American linguistic usages are taking over British ones here in the UK — a tendency which I feel should be resisted. My late wife and I once spent some time compiling a list of examples: not to be tedious or over-multiply instances, I will give just two examples: —

Where an English writer would once have declared something was 'out of bounds', he is just as likely [or even more likely] these days to adopt the American usage and say it is 'off limits'. And (an instance often found on these threads): our children 'skip' while yours 'jump rope'; which I have, alas, heard English children saying of late.

A further example has just appeared here, on this forum. A BS thread has started called 'Schoolyard bullying', inspired by a BBC Radio programme broadcast this morning. I started to post a response pointing out that this is a further example of the phenomenon I note above; but decided that this would be much too early a drift to impose on someone else's thread, which deals with an important topic. So instead I start this new thread, to point out that it is schools across the Pond that have "schoolyards". Our schools have 'PLAYGROUNDS' - another example, I reiterate, of the US takeover of British English.

Any comments or further examples?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:02 AM

Well it's about time! You folks have had the monopoly on usage for far too many centuries. It's time some other group had its say.

Actually, I am far more troubled that over here we have essentially dropped the use of adverbs than that our idioms are taking over the rest of the English speaking world.

I am more trouble, yet, by speech as, "Her and me are going to the dance together."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:03 AM

Actually, I am more troubled in the above post. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: maeve
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:04 AM

I've grown up with both "jumping rope" and "skipping rope" and with "playgrounds" in Indiana, New Hampshire, and Maine. My older Southern relatives use "schoolyard". Similarly, I grew up hearing both 'out of bounds' and 'off limits.'

I follow your intent, though. I too value regional and cultural idioms.

maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:06 AM

"Her and me are going to the dance together."

Hey! Ain't that somethin'? We'uns is goin' too!

Actually we also have playgrounds.....many of them in schoolyards...........(;<))


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Stu
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:11 AM

People have started saying "Can I get a . . . ?"

I feel like saying go around the counter and get it then!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM

Advertised products being described as 'All new'

If something's new, then presumeably the newness applies to all of it??


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: s&r
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:20 AM

My favourite recent Americanism is a row of boxed DIY toilet pans (in B&Q) marked "Toilets to Go"

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 AM

ON?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 AM

Why do these innocuous usages bother you so?

With tens of thousands of idioms in everyday, uncontroversial use throughout the English-speaking world, the claim that any national variety is "taking over" any other seems to me exaggerated.

Consider a contrasting situation. Did the Norman French "take over" English? If so, was the result harmful?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:28 AM

Wih the growth of American So Called Drama on our (UK) television , its hardly surprising though !


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:32 AM

Yep, we have playgrounds out here in the West with out of bounds reserved mostly for ballgames and other sports. Off limits would be used more for keeping folks away from something or preventing some behaviour.

My son-in-law is a mostly good person who had a learning disability which was not recognised. As a consequence it is difficult for him to read, esp. out loud/aloud. He also grew up a "red neck" and does say "me and so and so.' Naturally, my grandson has picked up those speech patterns. I always correct him and he hears the correct usage from his mom and at school. A couple of times he has defended his use saying his dad says it that way. I don't denigrate his dad, I just tell him the correct way that his teacher wants it is So and so and I etc. That has worked. I have to say my son-in-law is very supportive of making sure Morgan has a good education and learns the things he had such a hard time with himself.

What gets me is when my oldest daughter talks that way. SHE knows better! She lives in a certain segment of society where it is prevalent and I know she drops into a vernacular when conversing with friends. I hate it, esp. when I know her sons hear it all of the time. They know better, too, but the influence of a parent is so strong.

As to the cross pond invasion..since coming to Mudcat, I have to say more and more of my language consists of things I've learned here from UK members. My Rog has grown used to it, too. This has also been from BBC program/programmes, too.:-)

Over here, the country is so large, yet we still are losing regional inflections/usages. In the twenty some years I was gone from COlorado, it was filled by masses of people from "elsewhere" meaning other states. It irritates me to hear them mispronounce the place names I grew up with: they say MAWN troz while it is properly mawn TROZ (not a lot of emphasis, just kind of soft) for Montrose and they say OO ray for Yer RAY (again only slightly more emphasis) for Ouray..the list goes on. Sorry for those sideline.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:15 PM

I wonder if they say OO ray in Balmer and Naw'lins.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:19 PM

I agree with Maeve and Kat. I have heard both "jump" and "skip" rope in the US - but I would have taken "schoolyard" as an archetypal British-ism; I've only ever heard "playground" in the US. I suspect that, since we've been trading movies and television for some eighty years, there is probably a lot of trans-Atlantic contamination by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM

I must admit to cringing, when I ask someone how they are, and the reply is 'Good'

JM, with curled toes


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:34 PM

Yeah.....I always answer "half-assed."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:05 PM

I hate to break the news to y'all, but your indignation and struggles against what you see as corruption or invasion of your native tongue will be of no avail. What's more, I might add, should be of no avail.

Look at the experience of France with its immemorial struggle to keep the Glorious French Language pure. For I think hundreds of years successive French governments and successive generations of French academicians have gazed down their noses (so essential in pronouncing French) at foreign usages creeping into their pure, holy language. They've ranted, and fulminated, and published, and organized scholarly bodies dedicated to keeping French absolutely static. But, to use that expression again, "to no avail".

To begin with, French is not and never was a pure and static thing. It is a mixture of degenerate Latin and various Germanic and Scandinavian languages, to mention a few. And that's even before one considers the leakage back into French from the various streams of English, which is another polyglot mishmash. These efforts at resistance call to mind the famous speech from Star Trek: "Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated."

The same things, in nearly the same words, may validly be said of English. There never was a "pure" English. Never was. And certainly never will be.

And it is an amusing fact that many objected-to "Americanisms" are survivals of usages which were originated on the east side of the big pond, and many of them before the settlement of the United States.

But complain on, if you like. And may you have joy of it. But you won't stop the inexorable homogenization of speech, especially in this day of easy, universal communication via web, radio, and TV.

One last personal comment: I tend to dislike the irritating currency of many English/UK/British usages and idioms in American speech, but because I know my indignation is of no avail I try to keep my mouth shut about my attitude. And as a result, there are only a few that still grate on my mind's ear, like "at the end of the day" and "back in the day".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM

I've asked it before, but to no avail (what put that expression come into my mind?): what is the origin, likely source, and/or provenance of that bone-headed arrangement of words, "back in the day"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:56 PM

I'm pretty sure that "movie" is quickly replacing "film" in the UK these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Amos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:01 PM

MEself, I think its antecedent was a sterotype of an elder saying "Back in my day...", a construction which goes back at least to Shakespeare informing us that every dog has his. It seems likely to me that this expression would slide easily, when being fed back by yonkers at elders, into "back in the day".



A


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:08 PM

"Back in my day" is relatively meaningful. "Back in the day of the Model T", "Back in the day of Richard Nixon,"(or some similar expression) is relatively meaningful.

But "Back in the day" means nothing at all.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM

"She and I are going to the dance" may be correct but it does sound a bit strained. Make much more sense to rephrase the sentence.

In any case saying "and me" shouldn't be seen as an Americanism, it's just as characteristic of demotic English back here, and has been for generations.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:33 PM

JM, if we said "Well"..then we were reminded it was a "deep subject!":-)

My grandson thinks it is hilarious when he says "Hey" and I reply, "is for horses!"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:01 PM

"Out of bounds" and "playground" are the ones I have always heard in the parts of the US where I have lived. "Off limits" has also been commonly used. Playground and schoolyard have had different usages in my experience. A schooyard could also be a playground, if it had playground equipment. A playground could also be separate from any schools. A schooyard with no playground equipment was never, to my recollection, a playground. To be perfectly honest, though, I don't seem to remember either of those being the most commmonly used to refer to the play area outside of schools when I was growing up, but I can't remember what we did use. Must be creeping old age.

But I'm picking up a lot of Newfoundlandisms (and some Canadianisms, too) being married to a Newfoundlaner, so there's justice somewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:18 PM

I have to admit I find it confusing when a 'bathroom' doesn't contain a bath.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM

Jos- and a restroom without a bed; but these vagaries make a language interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:37 PM

Yep we had playgrounds behind the schools in Virginia and jumping and skipping rope used interchangeably. We used out of bounds too, off limits came later.

What I want to know is which came first

Storm in a teacup

or

Tempest in a teapot

for some reason, maybe my imagination, I though Tempest in a Teapot had to do with a politcal cartoon about the Boston Tea Party.   If so, then I would think that it was a colonist's way of co-opting and English saying, clevering it up and putting an American spin on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM

"bathroom", "restroom" "loo" "WC"....all euphemisms. A park near me once had a sign saying "Comfort Station". The only one that strikes me as 'clear' is "toilet", and that really refers to the fixture.

It is fascinating how firmly we cling to the locutions we heard in childhood, or phrases uttered by 'famous' people, and how we rebel when changes come about.

   I know of both British and American usages I would rather see replaced by something less obtuse and colloquial.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Old Vermin
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:31 PM

Is 'Train station' rather than 'Railway station' an Americanism or simply Sarf Lunnon?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:57 PM

I think Americans are more likely to say "train station", although both are certainly in common use.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:15 PM

Heck, we also say "depot". The USA is so large and has so many cultural areas, that 'almost' any usage can be found somewhere, and those who have traveled widely will have heard it, even if we don't use it.

I recognize 'sofa', 'divan', 'couch', 'settee', and even 'lounge' in some contexts, though couch is what I'd likely say first. (Yes, I realize that each has some more specific historical referent.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:17 PM

Wouldn't Americans say "railroad station"?

"Lavatory" technically means a place for washing, and the

Toilet of Venus

suggests that "toilet" may also be a euphemism rather than a "fixture".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:50 PM

"for free"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 07:23 PM

In Montana, we say Playground (not schoolyard).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 07:57 PM

In New York too. "Schoolyard bully" sounds to me like a journalistic phrase. At any rate, my feeling is that "playground" is at least as common in the U.S. (though to me "playground bully" sounds decidedly odd). To "skip" rope sounds as right to me as to "jump," though the rope itself is always a "jump-rope." I think "off limits" replaced "out of bounds" only after WWII.

"Back in the day" bugs me because for some reason every TV newsperson suddenly began using it at the same time for no good reason. I still prefer "back in the old days" or, as my grandparents used to say, "in olden days" (or "times").


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: SharonA
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:11 PM

"Is 'Train station' rather than 'Railway station' an Americanism...?"

Yes. Train station or, less commonly, railroad station, unless one is singing "One Toke Over the Line". :-)

Same goes for playground. It's a schoolyard only in the Paul Simon song!

Sharon in southeastern Pennsylvania


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:12 PM

It's the using of words like lego bricks that gets up my nose.

The other day I heard someone talking about "upskilling" an athletice team.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: SharonA
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:13 PM

Acorn4, just don't put the Lego up your nose!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:53 PM

In my Melbourne youth, playground was the term used in primary school, while schoolyard was the term used when we got to high school. Even so, "Yard Duty" was what teachers were doing when rostered to supervise students at recess and lunch time. Even now (in our New England) I hear the same uses in the same contexts.

In Oz, we get the same invasion of US terminology and it has a similar grating effect on those who notice it as MtheGM describes. I suspect most of us take the British influence in our heritage for granted but bridle at what we call Americanisms; this may have some roots in the presence of US troops here in large numbers during WWII (which we shared with the UK) and the perceived behaviour of Douglas Macarthur, which we had all to ourselves.

But I have sympathy for those who try to maintain the regional diversities of cultural heritage.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:53 PM

Going by origional meanomngs, the word toilet is to do with washing etc, jusand the same goes for "lavatory". In this context they are the precise equivalent of "washroom". Virtually all the terms in common use are some kind of euphemism.

American euphemisms are no dafter than British euphemism and no less. So long as we can avoid the kind of ambiguity that leaves us confused on occasions when we urgently need not to be confused, it doesn't really matter what we call the facilities.

Back in the Middle Ages the term "necessarium", the necessary place, was in use, and that seems pretty appropriate. Perhaps we could revive it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 08:54 PM

Chesterfield for couch. Very Canadian but prob. UK as well


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:03 PM

"john' often used in U. S. and Canada for the crapper (or should that be Crapper since that was the name of a manufacturer?)- I think that there was a thread on this.

The "outhouse" is fast disappearing.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:09 PM

What I find very interesting about this discussion is that some of the words objected to by Brits as Americanisms are words that Americans would consider British! For example, "out of bounds" has been used here at least as long as there has been football, but "off limits" came home with American GIs after WW2.   Another is, as I mentioned above, that both sides claim "playground" and appear to say that "schoolyard" belongs across the pond.   Oh - that's another. Who owns "across the pond"? I grew up saying "overseas.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:29 PM

(There are many 'playgrounds' that have no association with schools...and there are parts of schoolgrounds which are not used for play. I use both words in different contexts.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:38 PM

As do I, Bill.

"Jump rope" I've never heard in Oz, and the "skip rope" was a rarity too, in my experience. When in primary school I always heard it as "skippy", as in "let's play skippy" and the rope was always a skipping rope, whether long or short.

But I suspect changes started happening when the TV series "Skippy" (aka "Skippy, the bush kangaroo) and its theme song became popular. Which was well after my school days.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:23 PM

For some reason, "across the pond" makes me cringe.


Yes, we always said "overseas".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 PM

Does "shit-house" qualify as a euphemism?

By the way, when I was a kid in Ontario, "kybo" was the popular term for that structure. Maybe still is. "Biffy" was a term common in Manitoba. Maybe still is.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:18 AM

At the heel of the hunt, I'm no longer going to use "at the end of the day".
And, in closing, I probably won't use "finally" either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:10 AM

In godsowncountry, 'ahead of' is becoming popular among 'media people' rather than 'before.'
'Through' (or even Thru!) instead of 'to,' as in 'available three through seven...'


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jos
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:44 AM

To me,'three to seven' implies that whatever it is will stop at seven o'clock; 'three through seven' suggests that it will continue at least until seven, and may carry on beyond.

The expression I find irritating (for no very good reason, I admit) is 'horseback riding'. If someone says 'riding' I assume they mean 'on a horse' unless they, or the context, has made it clear that they mean a bike, camel, bus etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,hello
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:50 AM

if you want to speak American then move there


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:05 AM

If someone said "riding" I'd probably assume it was a bike, unless I knew they had a horse. And I'd normally be right.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:56 AM

"Necessary room" is very (antiquated, though) Maine...and possibly other states in New England.

As for the original terminology on this thread, I grew up with BOTH (in the west 'burbs of Milwaukee in the heart of the Midwest).

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:04 AM

Oh how many times have my friends and colleagues in the UK chuckled at me every time I stated "my partner will give me a ride home."

Now I always say "lift." Even though he is not lifting me.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:14 AM

Mr Happy, I think "all new" means, in effect, that there has been a thoroughgoing redesign of the product. And/or (less likely) that EVERY feature has been changed/improved. As opposed to "a reissue of the old model, with merely some cosmetic changes".

But then, you knew that.

Granted, "all new" does sound strange.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:58 AM

Surely it just means a diferent packet, and maybe that the price has gone up.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ringer
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:24 AM

"Presently," to mean "currently" currently pees me off (though I don't know whether America is responsible or merely ignorant Britain). When I was young, "presently" meant (and in my mouth still means) "in a little while."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:37 AM

You must admit, though, that "presently" meaning "at present" is logical, whereas "presently" meaning "not at present, but in a little while", is not. It is my impression that the former is North American usage (and therefore, we all agree, inferior, at best suspect, and in all likelihood, wrong).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:41 AM

I'm trying to imagine a high school having a schoolyard. My high school had a track, tennis courts, a football (US kind of football) field, a soccer field, vollyball courts, a courtyard that was used as an outdoor smoking lounge, and a lot of parking lots, but no place that would be called a "schoolyard" or even any part of the day when the students would go outside in a groups to collectively hang out like we did for recess in elementary school. We didn't have anything like that in junior high (now called "middle school"), either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM

"Now I always say "lift." Even though he is not lifting me."

In N 'awlins (New Orleans), my mother never got used to her neighbor saying, "I'm going out, can I carry you somewhere?"

In Kansas, grocery stores 'sacked' your purchases...here they 'bag' them. Now, 'bag' sounds more reasonable.
Most of my life I stood 'in line' for a movie (film?), now most people say 'on line'....and many of those from the British Isles say 'queue'. I visualize a 'line' as the assortment of people, one behind the other, not as an imaginary chalk mark on the ground we all stand 'on'.

It's not easy to assimilate it all and make decisions.


I have lived in the American South and in the Mid-West before moving East when I was almost 40. I have heard SO many different ways of describing and naming things and activities that it has sensitized me to my own habits, and I make an effort to use 'reasonably' universal and clear terminology when I have any idea that I might be mis-understood.
   I am a bit puzzled by those who either don't KNOW any other way to speak, or cling stubbornly to "their" ways, no matter what the occasion or whether they will be understood or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:51 AM

Well, I'm from Yorkshire and used to trying to understand all you other buggers.
A'reet?
Al


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:54 AM

Uh - whudja say?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:56 AM

I just remembered one of the things we called our outdoor play area in elementary school (in Maryland). The part that was paved was called the "blacktop". I think the rest of it wasn't called anything, except for the part that had the playground equipment, and that part was called by whatever part of it was being referred to (the swings, the monkey bars, the slide, etc.). We might have referred to the softball diamond as something, but I can't remember. Probably the "backstop". In Rhode Island, I don't remember it being called anything except "outside" or "outdoors" or something like that. There was no equipment in my elementary school in RI. Just paved area and grassy area, which included a softball diamond.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Stu
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:08 PM

"My bad"

What? Your bad what? For Pete's sake.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM

hmmm.. in Kansas, where I grew up, 'blacktop' was just another term for asphalt, and more often used as a verb when street reconstruction was to be done.

One common difference in usage on both sides of the pond..umm..ocean... is to name items by the most common commercial product name. We have 'Kleenex' and 'Jello'...and when I first worked in a grocery store, I was told to "use a 'Listo'" to mark something...that being the brand of ink marker the store carried.
I'll confess that I was totally confused the first time I saw the term 'Araldite' used in the context of adhesives. I had to do a search to discover it was good old epoxy.
Other instances abound.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:24 PM

A couple of American forms of pronunciation that do tend to grate on me whenever I hear them from BBC news presenters:

DEEkayed instead of DEHkayed.
Ten years ("it'll take a decade to decompose") is not the same as something rotten ("after ten years it finally decayed").

Also

KillOHM-itehr instead of KILLO-meater.
We have a "millimetre", a "centimetre", and a "kilometre" - all measurements involving the metre.

It's not a matter of great concern! Just one of those little pointless things..


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM

Who is responsible for the ubiquitous 'tunafish'? Is there a tunaBEEF? I say 'tuna', period.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM

I agree, Crow Sister... but it took me quite a while to overcome my dislike of the SOUND of KILLO-meter. kill-om-a-ter just sounded more 'pleasant'. *shrug*... I now say it correctly, and am getting used to it.

I DO, however, refuse to say Al-you-MIN-i-um.....


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:38 PM

I have never heard an American say DEEkade in any context.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM

Crow Sister, as to your comment,

DEEkayed instead of DEHkayed.
Ten years ("it'll take a decade to decompose") is not the same as something rotten ("after ten years it finally decayed"),


I must demur. In my nearly eight DEH-kades of life (two more days!) in the US, I have never heard that ten-year period referred to as a DEEkayed. Don't blame it on us the US!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Stu
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM

DEEfence has taken over from defence.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM

DEEkade is not US pronunciation. I've never heard it before in my life.

Seems like people outside of the US are assuming that if there is a word usage or pronunciation that they are not familiar with, they assume it's from the US. It looks to me like a lot of the time, the word usage or pronunciation does not come from here.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bettynh
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:32 PM

"In Kansas, grocery stores 'sacked' your purchases...here they 'bag' them"

A few years ago I was travelling cross-country by car and stopped for groceries in Oklahoma. (I was raised just outside Boston and my grandparents are from New Hampshire, so my Downeast accent is pretty strong.) I went through checkout but I couldn't find one item. I asked "Where can I find a bag of ice?" and met a blank stare. The manager and another clerk were called over to solve the problem. Blank stares. I finally spotted the ice cooler in front of the store and made my purchase, but everyone was still pretty uncomfortable about what had just been said. I think now that I would have had better result if I'd asked for a "sack of ah's," but I'm not absolutely sure of that. That was 30 years ago, and I'd bet that we would be able to puzzle out the meaning now, due to TV voices. Not about the British, I know....

How about this one:
While riding on the subway in Boston I overheard a man who thought he'd figured out the American/British habit of shortening place names like Worcester (Wusta) and Gloucester (Glosta). He asked for directions to Dorchta. Unfortunately, nobody (even the British, I checked) shortens Dorchester in that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM

Once on a little trip across the river to Detroit - from Windsor, which is in Canada - I decided to buy a pack of cigars - which I pronounce, "sih-GARZ". The Black lady working the counter kept asking me to repeat my request; finally, with enough of my repetition and pointing and pantomiming, she reached for a pack of stogies - saying, "Oh! You mean SEE-gawz!"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:37 PM

My wife and I were camped outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico a few years ago, and went into town for some breakfast. There was a couple from, I think, Yorkshire at the next table, and the man was becoming very frustrated trying to get the waitress to understand his needs. Finally Jenn, who was raised with a grandmother from Nottingham, told her that when he said "orf n'orf", he was asking for half and half for his coffee.

DeeCADE (the past tense of deCAY) is what garbage did.    The accent is on the 2nd sylLABle. DEHcade is 10 years.   One might occasionally hear a TV "comedian" say DEEcade or DEEfence in a misguided attempt at humor.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:46 PM

In Canada, if not in the U.S., DEEfence is often used a noun in sporting rhetoric, as in, "The DEEfence gave it 110% last night; there were only ten shots on net".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:50 PM

That's true here as well, come to think of it. The organization that includes the Army and Navy is the duhFENCE dePARTment, but the two parts of a (American) football team are the OFFence and the DEEfence.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:01 PM

"Presently" is one of the many words where the American usage is a great deal older than the modern English one.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives "presently", meaning "At the present time", as occurring in 1485.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:14 PM

The change in meaning of the British "presently" strikes me as Orwellian, if not Monty-Python-esque, and must have been a product of bureaucracy:

"Oh, yes, of course I said your application was being dealt with presently. Did you think that meant 'at present'? Why, that's not at all what 'presently' means - 'presently' means, um, 'in a little while'."

"No, it doesn't!"

"Yes, it does! It means 'soon'; it means 'any day now'; it means 'don't worry, I'll get 'round to it'; it means 'patience is a virtue' .... "


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:25 PM

Maybe so - but if so, it's not modern bureaucracy. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary dates that sense ("In the space of time that immediately follows, in a little while, before long, shortly") as 1566...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Old Vermin
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:44 PM

Not necessarily an Americanism, and pleasant enough, but my late mother-in-law used to refer to the utility area next to the kitchen as the caboosh - or perhaop kaboosh - never saw it spelt. This was where a boiler or two was and clothes were dried or aired.

Also heard it from my parents as being the guards-van on, probably, a Canadian train.

And the expression 'the whole caboosh' meaning the complete works, whole shooting-match, whole issue, usually in the context of some degree of catastrophe.

Still extant?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:58 PM

There's "caboose", guards-van, and in the expression "the whole caboose";

and there is "kibosh" used in the phrase "to put the kibosh on" menaing to finish off or defeat or destroy.

Probably not related. But does the latter expression crop up in America?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jos
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:03 PM

I've come across 'presently' meaning 'right now' from Scottish people, and it does seem more logical. I've often wondered whether it changed its meaning further south as a result of people fibbing - saying 'Yes, I'll do it presently' and then doing it in a little while, until people hearing 'I'll do it presently' got to know that they were going to have to wait.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: RangerSteve
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM

Hey, British English is going to change with or without us here in the U.S. You're not speaking the way Chaucer or Shakespeare did, and I'll bet people complained about that, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: vindelis
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:20 PM

Bettnh,
Zo yoov ne'er 'eard ov Dorshter? Ow abowt Crukern or Beminster? Praps tiz cuz yoom baint narn O we. Like wold vor en now wuld zay.

The phrases that sent me racing to the internet (English Dictionary being a complete 'waste of time) have been 'Hard' and 'Soft' Skills - and 'Cascading Doughnuts'. The latter, had someting to do with communication, apparently.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:36 PM

Yep, Kevin...I've heard "put the kibosh on" here. Not really often, but enough to get the context.

Many unusual turns of phrase like 'kibosh' and 'caboodle' are heard orally, and not always perfectly, then either repeated as what someone thought they heard ('mondegreens' come to mind), or written down and spelled as well as possible, giving us SO many variations.

There are threads in the music section about silly songs from childhood, where every couple of years some 'guest' refreshes it to post they way THEY heard it in girl scouts or grade school, ofthen with only a few words difference.

I suppose if Mudcat continues for 50 years, we'll be a major research asset!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:03 PM

Since "kibosh" was mentioned in more or less the same context as "caboose", I need to issue a warning. The similarity of form of the two words can't guide you to the pronunciation.

"Kibosh" is NOT "kih-BOSH", but "KYE-bosh".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:12 PM

Not where I come from, Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:15 PM

...so, "The Little Red Kibosh" is 'restraint of the Kremlin'??






had my coat already on...leaving now.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:19 PM

For McGrath- Kibosh widespread north of Mexico exclusive of francophone areas.
(I was bashed for calling Canada and U. S. A. 'North America', forgetting Mexico, so circumlocutions are in order.
I can't say Canada and U. S. A. since Canada is officially French as well as English-speaking).

Caboodle first appeared in print in 1848; Lighter in 'Hist. Dict. American Slang' avoids giving an origin. 'Kit and caboodle' came much later.

Guards-van is a 19th c. term for a baggage car with bank or payroll money and thus a guard. Heard from my grandfather in Colorado. The word is obsolete now.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bettynh
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:21 PM

vindelis, It's blank stare time for me! LOL!

I do know that BERlin is in upstate New Hampshire. Amd Coos County has two syllables (in the Coos part, that is).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for enlightening me about 'Deekayed/Dehkayed'
Heh, I wonder why it's become so popular here? Most annoying not to be able to blame it on YOU lot... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:44 PM

The word is obsolete now.

As a separate word maybe - but the expression "the whole caboose" is still current over here anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:49 PM

Speaking of DEEkayed, check out President Kennedy's speech that day he exhorted Americans to put a man on the moon in the next 10 years. Awfully close to DEEkayed. I thought it was because he was a New Englander. (He also said 'Cuber'.)(Some New Englanders have some atrange pronunciations. like 'drawring', for instance. Kendall? Is it also true of Maine?)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:16 PM

'R' is the most abused/ignored letter in the alphabet. Some rrrrolll it, some add it on where it is not, some leave it off when it's needed.

I HATED the Kennedys saying 'Cuber', but tried to swallow and shrug.

We had a shanty group called "The Boarding Party', which one very nice and sweet soul called "The Bawding Potty". I usually managed not to giggle at the image.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:26 PM

Ebbie, my father was from Rhode Island and had the same name as me. My mother claims she thought his first name was Otto until she saw it written on their marriage license - because he pronounced it "Ott" until the day he died.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:46 PM

Most of this stuff I shrug and accept, or even welcome. Change happens, and often enough (not always) it is good as well as inevitable.

One of the few Americanisms that I do dislike, however, is the way that some foreign names get mispronounced.

One particular case is the way Iraq gets pronounced by American politicians and broadcasters as "EyeRACK". And I hate it when that seeps into broadcasts here, in place of "EerAhk", which at least attempts to approximate to the way people who live there pronounce it.

It's lazy and it's disrespectful.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 08:43 PM

McGrath, guards-van was the word I indicated was obsolete. I don't know if it was ever used in England.

The Kennedy's 'Cuber' for Cuba deserves some comment. Bostonians (and many other New Englanders of Irish and central English ancestry) pronounce many words ending in 'a' as if they ended in 'er'. The pronunciation is imported. 'Alabamer' is one that Southerners often comment on. I don't know enough about the accents of the Irish, etc. who came here in the late 19th or early 20th c. to comment on the origin of this, but perhaps someone from Ireland or Northern Ireland or central England will comment. A young Englishman with Ph.D., working in a research group I was with, always said 'Cuber', etc.

The mis-pronunciation of foreign words beginning with 'i' is common both in the U. S. and Canada. Even when in the middle of a word, it gets the hard 'i' treatment.
If you ever visit Georgia, there is a town named Vienna, pronounced Vi-anna. People look puzzled if you say 'Vee-enna'.

Similarly, the Spanish Rio is usually pronounced Ry-o by older Anglos, just as it is in English chanteys.
This also is an import.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:15 PM

[rant mode]
One that really annoys me just now is the misuse of the word "solutions" in the commercial world. I first heard it in this context about 15 years ago in a radio advert for office equipment where the firm's products were referred to as "office solutions".

Now you see it everywhere. On the motorway you regularly see large wagons whose owners advertise on the side of the vehicle that they provide "logistics solutions" (two misused words there) and I recently saw a van belonging to a construction company claiming they provided "total construction solutions". It's all a load of meaningless garbage
[/rant mode]


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: melodeonboy
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:18 PM

"I must admit to cringing, when I ask someone how they are, and the reply is 'Good'"

Yes, I often respond by saying "That's a matter of opinion"! (Not that most people understand it!)


"for free"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yes, I also find that impossible to adjust to.

"Listen UP, head UP, next UP etc.." What's the bloody "up" for? I usually tilt my head to one side whenever I'm told to listen up, but it's rarely appreciated!

And what about "ate" pronounced the same as "eight"? Is that an Americanism or a spelling pronunciation? Or a combination of both?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:18 PM

"And what about "ate" pronounced the same as "eight"? Is that an Americanism or a spelling pronunciation? Or a combination of both? "

Great heavens! How do you pronounce "ate" and "eight"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:26 PM

McGrath, guards-van was the word I indicated was obsolete. I don't know if it was ever used in England.

It was routinely used in Oz until the van was omitted from most trains; but it is still understood and occasionally heard. Why "the van" should refer to the leaders in an advancing group (as a diminutive of vanguard) rather than occur at the tail end (with the guard's van) bothered me when I was young.

If you ever visit Georgia, there is a town named Vienna, pronounced Vi-anna.

I take it, Q, that the Georgia you refer to is the one fronting the Atlantic rather than the other.

On matters of pronunciation, I occasionally lament the passing of the British and Oz pronunciation of "lieutenant" as "lef-tenant" in favour of the US "loo-tenant". I realise the US version is closer to the original French but my father's generation would prefer to have their rank described the way they knew it rather than in US terms, if they must be reminded at all.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:06 PM

'And what about "ate" pronounced the same as "eight"?'

As opposed to ... ?

Oh - "et", I suppose. In Canada, and probably most of North America, that would be considered either the height of pretentiousness or the depth of ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jos
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:00 AM

That intrusive R in 'Cuber' and 'Alabamer' will be familiar to fans of the BBC's 'The Archers', in which Eddie Grundy refers to his son's partner Emma as 'Emmer' - he is supposed to come from the area east of Birmingham, though other characters from the same area have a variety of accents.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:02 AM

I must accept responsibility for the 'Schoolyard' thread - I started it! I did choose the phrase on purpose. Not for any journalistic or sensation seeking reason but for two very sound reasons.

1. I gathered that everyone from both sides of the Atlantic would understand Schoolyard whereas, although I was brought up with the term Playground, it may have been UK English, or even regional, rather than global.

2. A playground can be part of a school or part of a local park. We used to play on the playground in the park, which contained swings and a slide, as well as run around the school playground like mad people. The thread was specificaly targeted to the school version.

Had it been a thread about taps or pavements I would not have used the American idioms but in this case I thought it more suitable.

Before you pedants comment that I should have used 'School playground bullying' may I say that a thread title is just that. If MOST people understand it it has done it's job. So, nothing to do with American English useage, just plain common sense. Which, as the thread in question shows, may be quite uncommon nowadays:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:14 AM

"Great heavens! How do you pronounce "ate" and "eight"?"

I pronounce "ate" the same way that most British people did until very recently, and many, including myself, still do, i.e. to rhyme with "bet".

Both Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries indicate both pronunciations; the pronunciation that I use is indicated first in both.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:46 AM

Bill Bryson makes some interesting comments, in several of his books, on the differences between UK and US use of the English language. Many "American" terms and words are actually phrases which were brought from Britain and have subsequently fallen out of use in Britain. "Gotten" is an example.

However, the point is surely that all languages change and develop at different times, in different ways and at different rates. The English language is hugely open and hospitable to words changes and new words - probably more so than any other language in the world. Change in it is inevitable. This thread is about the "taking over" of the UK version of English by American terminology. I would suggest - if you look at our younger generations, particularly in cities, that there is a much more interesting change to the language which comes from Caribbean and Asian influences in the community. There was a similar set of additions to the language here when my father's generation came back from foreign places after WW2.

So my Dad came back saying "let's have a shufti" for "let's have a look" (Arabic shufti=look) and I"M off for a charp" when he meant I'm off for a nap (Hindi charpoy=day bed). Whether these have stayed in current use really depends on your age group.

Now I'm off to change my chuddies.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:47 AM

Re the pronunciation of "decade", for a few years now I've thought that I was pronouncing it incorrectly as everybody in the UK media uses "DECKade" with the first syllable emphasized.

But the other week the Kennedy Man on the Moon speech was on a BBC programme. JFK pronounced it "DeCADE".

A belated thank you to Jack for restoring my self confidence. If an upper crust Bawstonian can do it, so can I.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:09 AM

"everybody in the UK media uses "DECKade" with the first syllable emphasized."

Yes, that's the normal British pronunciation! As far as I know, Americans usually stress the second syllable.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:39 AM

Decade, as in 10 years? As far as I know, everyone in the US (Boston Brahmans aside) pronounces it DECade.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:59 AM

American dictionaries state: "ate (āt; Brit. or US dialect, et)" and "decade (DEK ād; Brit. also di KĀD).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:07 AM

Maybe it's Robin Hood area dialect in my case, as in "oowerewee?" "E were wee issen!" and "Mek it guh bakkards".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:17 AM

Decade with the last syllable emphasised - sounding like "decayed"? Could be confusing, a bit zombieish - "the musicians of the last decayed..."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:31 AM

I understood the thread title about bullying, even though we say playground, and even though... a lot of bullying among school children now happens on the internet and can happen away from school, too.

Looking at the gripes on this thread, it seems a lot of people are easily annoyed. How can you find peace if such petty things bother you?

Language changes over time and it's perfectly natural. A hundred years from now, people will laugh at pronunciations of 2009. Now with the speed of travel and worldwide internet communication, languages will change even faster.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

weird... grew up in and spent most of my adult life in southeastern and central Virginia respectively.

I always pronounced Iraq and Iran as ear rock and ear ran.


What about pecan -   Peecan or Pehkahn

I have always pronounced the latter, because that is the way my family did. But it is not very common, from what I understand.

Is it across the Mason Dixon kind of pronunciation?

In England I hear it as peecan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:49 AM

pi-'KAHN
here in the northern rocky mountains


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:05 AM

Nuts in Salford...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:43 AM

Is that pie-KAHN or pee-KAHN, Alice? I've always used the latter, although I've also heard pee-CAN and PEE-can. I really don't think that there IS such thing as American English usage, although the next generation will grow up/has grown up speaking TV Teenie.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:45 AM

I've NEVER heard decade pronounced any other than DECK'ade. If JFK pronounced it differently, I never noticed. (Guess I should listen again.)

Used to get a kick (since I lived in Milwaukee until I was 20 when I moved to the Boston area) out of hearing all the Rs removed from words (such as the infamous "pahk the cah in Hahvahd yahd") placed on the ends of words such as Cuba. (Well, he had to do SOMETHING with 'em.)

Regionalisms fascinate me -- since I grew up with so many of them. "Bubbler" for drinking fountain (only in Milwaukee and some neighborhoods of Boston); ruff/roof pronunciation; both soda and pop (or even soda pop) -- "tonic" in Massachusetts; the differentiation between soda crackers and saltines in Massachusetts, but just soda crackers in Wisconsin; purse / bag / handbag / poke; bag / sack; chuck holes / pot holes; ant/awnt, etc.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:46 AM

So 'et' is the common pronunciation of 'ate'? Weird. In the parts of the US with which I am familiar - and in books - 'et' is used to denote near-illiteracy.

I grew up saying 'eeRock' and 'eeRon'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:03 PM

"One of the few Americanisms that I do dislike, however, is the way that some foreign names get mispronounced.

Oh how I concur with that! It is not universal, but it is much too common. I am not sure what happens in the brain of some people when they hear various foreign words pronounced correctly. They seem to have a filter that says: "I am not going to make those funny sounds, no matter how the natives say it!"
   I have heard 'news' readers on TV listen to experts say words like Iraq correctly, then they turn around and continue to get it wrong.

(To be fair, it is NOT only Americans who are guilty. I posted before of some English reporter for the BBC a few years ago who pronounced Nicaragua as "Nick-uh-RAG-you-a")


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM

I was shocked and offended when I heard President Reagan greet the president of Mexico with the time-honored "Mi casa est su casa". He pronounced it 'cazza'. I still don't understand how a Californian - on the Mexican border - could get it so wrong.

However, my son in law made a point. He said, "You mean that we should all pronounce foreign names and words with the correct intonation and pronunciation? What about Chinese?"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:14 PM

Art, with a short "i", as in pick.

pi KAHN


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:19 PM

It is "Mi casa es su casa", not est, but I know what you mean, Ebbie.

And yes, it is weird to hear nickaRagyoua, but as I said, different pronunciations are just a part of the natural changes in language, from culture to culture and as time goes on. Things change, people are different around the world. Why would one be annoyed that someone pronounces things differently than the way your family did... it's only to be expected.


Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:23 PM

To be fair, most people learn to pronounce foreign names and words either the way they hear other people pronounce them - and those people are rarely natives of the foreign locale in question - or the way the spelling of the words or names seems to indicate (to them). And in either case, the pronunciation will be influenced by the speaker's accent or dialect.

At present, television and radio journalists are perhaps more to blame than anybody - if an unfamiliar name or word is introduced into the public discourse, they are the ones who most people first hear pronounce it. You would expect them to make some effort to learn the correct pronunciation before teaching the citizenry of a country how to say it. But perhaps that is easier said than done.

When I was young, the only pronunciation I ever heard of "Hiroshima" was "hEE'ro-shEE'-muh". At some point, I heard that the correct pronuciation is closer to "her-AW'-shih-muh". The first, apparently-erroneous, pronunciation is the one that comes naturally to me; I have to make a conscious effort to say the second. It is just plain unrealistic to expect most people to make that kind of adjustment.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM

hey BillD

it's Jagwar not Jaguah


Pokin' ya with the annoying stick. Did it work?

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM

"Did it work?"

"The exception proves the rule."
(thus, the more exceptions, the better the rule!)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM

Well if you apply the British nick-a-Rag-you-a (Nicaragua) pronunciation, then Jaguar would be in Brit-speak, Jag-you-ar.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM

If you pronounce it like the Spanish, it is HAG-war.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:01 PM

"Jaguar would be in Brit-speak, Jag-you-ar". That is how the car name is generally pronounced.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:25 PM

Yes, but in Britain, not everywhere else!

In the US, Jaguar is close to the Spanish pronunciation except the hard "J" instead of the spanish "H" sound for the "j".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM

In Spanish, words are not pronounced with "you" for the "u" sound.

There is no "you" sound in Nicaragua, but the British add it in, and the same for jaguar.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:32 PM

The pronunciation of foreign words or place names is something of a separate question. Why do some foreign words, like his example 'paella', become anglicised in pronunciation, others not?  Only a terrible snob, for instance, would order a bottle of 'shom-pan-ye';  only an ignoramus, on the other hand, would call for a bottle of 'bew-jo-laze'.  We put 'mayo-naze' on our salad, not 'my-o-nez'.  We used to travel to 'Lions', but now it is to 'Lee-õ'; but still nobody goes to 'Paree', or 'Moskva'. or 'Yerushalayim'. We travel to Florence, not Firenze. It used to be to Leghorn, but now it is more likely to be to Livorno. Why is this?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:33 PM

There is a fight in the VirginiaTam / TheSilentOne household re the Jaguar / Jag u ar issue.

He says the word jaguar is English and therefore is pronounced correctly Jag u ar.

See what these petty squabbles lead to? The break down of a happy marriage...


booo hoo


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM

Technically, jaguar is from the Portuguese, but originally a native language word from a tribe in South America where the wild felines live.

My point is, I am not annoyed by words being pronounced in different ways in different parts of the world. I think that is only natural that there would be regional differences in pronunciation.

What does kind of annoy me is that one class of people in one country would think they have the ONLY correct way to pronounce a word - and believe the rest of the world is wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:46 PM

There are words which get totally assimilated, like Champagne....and there are proper names which, although we may not find it easy to reproduce 'exactly' as native speakers do, should not be subjected to gratuitous mangling: as in Sy-mon Boll-uh-ver


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:59 PM

Condom for Johnnie, gay for queer, standing in line for queuing, voice going up at the end of every sentence - complete idiocy.......if I say "I feel a bit queer" a fellow man would immediately stand with his back to the wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:06 PM

Um, Bonzo - one of us is a little confused, here - what exactly is your point?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:06 PM

voice going up at the end of every sentence

That's what I hear when the Welsh speak. A rising inflection. Almost like everything is a question.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:11 PM

I brought up this issue as part of a brief talk I gave last Saturday, during BBC Radio 3's "Free Thinking" season at The Sage Gateshead; I called the talk "If you're not American, don't Americanise - for the love of our world being multicultural", and the example I gave was the overuse of the word "like" among American then, soon after, English youth.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:20 PM

WV, I think the use of "like", as in "I'll be there in, like, 20 minutes", has pretty much disappeared in the US - at least among people of my acquaintance. That was TV-talk of 20 years ago, and went along with "fer shur".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:22 PM

Superfluous use of the word "like" is part of the Rap, HipHop and RnB music culture of youth around the globe. Ludicrous when adults use it that way, unless they are parodying Yoof.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:26 PM

I had an art history teacher who was Japanese. He had moved to the US to get his Master's degree and was teaching in Montana. He told me that slang and figures of speech changed so quickly in Tokyo, that when he went back to visit family there, his nieces laughed at the way he spoke. His speech was considered very old fashioned, just after a few years of being away.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:36 PM

Foreign pronunciations- Naow all you iggerants, les be KEErek!

Napoli, NOT Naples
Wien, NOT Vienna
Venezia, NOT Venice
Moskva, NOT Moscow (or Fr. Moscou)
Kyyiv, NOT Kiev

And don't forget the macron over the 'o' in Tokyo!

(How come Chichester isn't pronounced Chester?) OH? Different cities? How confusing!

Bill D, a fail card for you. The guy's name is See-MON Bo-LEE-var. See yer biographical references.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:49 PM

Q, Bill D was showing how some people mispronounce Simon Bolivar.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bettynh
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:42 PM

Is it equally annoying when a name/word has been adopted and owned by someone else? As I said earlier, the natives of BERlin live in upstate New Hampshire. There is no BerLIN, New Hampshire. They're not confused in the least, but anyone asking for directions to BerLIN, New Hampshire just labelled themselves an outsider.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:47 PM

From: artbrooks - PM
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:20 PM

WV, I think the use of "like", as in "I'll be there in, like, 20 minutes", has pretty much disappeared in the US - at least among people of my acquaintance. That was TV-talk of 20 years ago, and went along with "fer shur".

Yes, that's what I meant, AB - but it doesn't seem to have disappeared here, yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:17 PM

Bettynh - in Staunton, Virginia, we used to say the same thing. Anyone who pronounced it 'STAUNTon' as in 'daunt' instead of the correct 'STANTon', as in 'ant', hadn't been there long.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM

Alus, he din't say he din't mangle it otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:44 PM

Changing the pronunciation of foreign words when they come into the language is a reasonable thing to do. And the same is true when it comes to accepting that certain foreign names have an established pronunciation which has gone native - as for example Paris, or the examples Q gave.

But that is different from what happens when politicians and broadcasters impose an invented mispronunciation on the name of a foreign country or on someone from a foreign country who comes into the news.   Basic good manners should require that an attempt is made to say such names in a way that is broadly accurate.

Failure to do this is either laziness or indicates a lack of courtesy. It seems to be saying, in Bill D's words "I am not going to make those funny sounds, no matter how the natives say it!"

At least the BBC makes serious efforts to get these things right - here is a link to the BBC pronunciation unit archive


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:48 PM

Really? Get it right? I hear the incorrect nickoRag-you-a all the time on BBC news.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:10 PM

But Nicko-rag-you-a happens to be the English pronunciation of that name, even if not the US or Spanish one — just as Pă-riss happens to be the English pronunciation of the capital of France, though not the French one [the French for that matter, have their own name for our capital city too]. So it is not incorrect, it is conventionalised — an example of one of those which have been assimilated and anglicised. I speculated above [01.32 pm] as to why this sometimes occurs, sometimes not...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:19 PM

I just disagree with you.

It seems like a deliberate disdain for something that could easily be said in English that is, as McG wrote, "Basic good manners should require that an attempt is made to say such names in a way that is broadly accurate."

Americans don't say Nicaragua with a Spanish accent, they say it in English without adding a "you" in the word that doesn't belong there. That's my final word on it. I'm finished.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:40 PM

And who appointed McG, whoever he may be, to be the universal arbiter of courtesy, I should like to know? And what a strange thing for you, Alice, to get so peculiarly irritable and unmannerly about. And then to flounce off like that, insisting on the last word.   I am surprised at you.

With all civil compliments - Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:23 PM

Back to the thread.
'Two times more' for 'Twice as.' As a child, when I first heard it, I wondered if it meant (original figure) x 2 = 3 times as (whatever it was. Effective, strong, etc.)

I wonder why we stopped using 'thrice.'

Just realised. 'More' instead of 'As!'

And, my browser thinks realised isn't a word.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:32 PM

There are many words which USAians pronounce so incorrectly as to sound hilarious, because they accentuate the wrong syllable.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:28 PM

Odd, innit, flasher!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:58 PM

McGrath, I listen to the BBC News and business news, and I agree that they try to get names correctly. One evening, wanting a repeat of a changing story on the business news, I listened twice, an hour apart. The broadcaster got a name wrong in the first, but corrected herself next time around. An excellent group of broadcasters!

There is so little foreign news on American news broadcasts that they have scant opportunity to go wrong!

The jag-u-ar does sound odd to me, partly because of the Spanish influence in most places I have lived. It must sound odd to some Englishmen as well since the Oxford English Dictionary puts the two-syllable pronunciation first! Or is it just the Oxbridge-Edinburgh graduates who follow the OED?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM

Sometimes words get imported, but only halfway, for a particular context. So we'd still say "cupboard", where I believe Americans would say "closet" - but no one would ever talk about a gay man as "coming out of the cupboard".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:11 PM

For us, a cupboard would be where you store cups (and bowls and dishes, etc.) and a closet is where you store clothes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:28 PM

I suspect that is another case where the Americans have retained the older meaning, which then gets reimported back here.
......................................

I wonder if there are any examples in moder times of cases where the traffic has gone the other way, and an English usage has tended to replace the American one? Precious few I would imagine.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:34 PM

Cupboard- now there's one that would stump someone who is shaky in English! A board for cups? How odd!

Had to look this one up- the OED gives a three-barreled definition as number 1:
"A 'board' or table to place cups and other vessels on, a piece of furniture for the display of plate, a sideboard or buffet. I don't think the first is current in U. S. or Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:42 PM

Pronounced "cubbord".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:44 PM

Otherwise it wouldn't rhyme with Mother Hubbard.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:02 PM

How is it, Q, that sideboard doesn't bother you? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:13 PM

Doesn't bother me, but, like cupboard, could give pause to the English as a second language element in the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:42 AM

To me, a "cubberd" can be one of the cabinets that line the kitchen wall or the place where coats are kept. It always has an attached adjective...i.e, "coat cupboard".   The tall thing with a glass front where the dishes you never use are kept is the "china cabinet" or, sometimes, the "breakfront".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:50 AM

In the Old Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme, however, the cupboard in question, as it was supposed to contained a bone for the dog, would have been the specialist form of food-cupboard called a 'larder'. Do the Americans have a word for that?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 10:30 AM

MtheGM, at our house (here in Indianapolis) there is a facility, near the back door next to the kitchen, which was, I think, designed as a coat closet. It's about two feet deep, just wider than the door. At some point it lost that mission, and several shelves were installed.

This is where we store such things as canned goods and mixes, bottles of various condiments, flour, oil, on the three large shelves in the middle. A narrower shelf, way up, holds miscellaneous household stuff, and there's more of that on the floor, below the deep shelves.

We have never used the term "larder" for this. Instead it's "the pantry", or maybe "the pantry closet".

Incidentally, most folks tend to think that "pantry" has something to do with the storage of pots and pans. Logical, no?   Wrong. The name goes way back, to a point when the pantry was where bread was kept. "Pan" = "bread".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:16 AM

Thank you, Dave. Here, the word 'pantry' tends to be used for a larger, walk-in, larder. Also, for no reason I can make out, for the private room in a big house in which the butler could relax, or carry out his duties such as cleaning the family silver ['butler's pantry'].


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:38 AM

I've never heard of anyone thinking "pantry" comes from pots and pans! The root is actually from "bread", the Latin pan, which went to the Old French for bread closet.

Just as in Europe, in the US, pantries are for storing food and other things for the kitchen, a small room or large closet. Expensive big homes like the oversized mansions that were the craze among wealthy during the real estate boom have larger butler's pantries for the housekeeping staff. Our town used to be a ranching and small college town until a ski resort was developed nearby in the 1970's. Now it is considered a resort town, too, and many over-sized mansions (second or third homes) were built around us, most with majestic views of the mountains. I once had a job that took me into these mansions. They were often empty except for the housekeeper, with the out-of-state owners showing up only during trout fishing or ski season.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Stu
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:48 AM

"The organization that includes the Army and Navy is the duhFENCE dePARTment, but the two parts of a (American) football team are the OFFence and the DEEfence."

Never thought about that but now you say it I see you're right. Facinating. You learn something new everyday.

Now: why the difference?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:42 PM

Maybe because one defence is an adjective and the other is a noun.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:44 PM

Pronunciation is often related to context....

If using Department of Defense in a sentence, I would likely say:

"D'partment of DeFENCE", with NO particular first vowel...but if referring to a store, I think I would clearly say 'dePARTment store'.

No particular reason...just habit and ease of speaking.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Mrs Cobble
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:55 PM

When I was young 'forms' had to be filled IN, now they are filled OUT!! Did that come from the USA ?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 01:07 PM

Poem #149 of 230: FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Largely due to America,
    English - to use Italian -
Is now the world's lingua franca,
    Where, it seems, it once was Latin;
But, while brogues are a good thing,
    I doubt American spelling.

From http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse
Or http://walkaboutsverse.sitegoz.com


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: pdq
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM

It's safe to say that most Americans know the word "pantry". It refers to a small room, often located next to the kitchen. Dry food and canned goods are stored there, as well as (perhaps) paper towels and paper plates, breakfast cereal, and non-perishable food in bulk.

Post-war homes built from about 1946-1984 were minimalist cheap boxes and the pantry was one of the niceties that usually got skipped. These affordable houses eventually resulted in about 2 out of every 3 people living in family-owned dwellings.

Since the economic boom started around 1985, new homes have become more luxurious with marble countertops, huge master bathrooms, and maybe even a pantry.

Much less likely that we would know the word "larder", which can be a strcture similar to a root cellar or the contents of such a place. Mormans are expected to keep enough non-perishable food on hand to feed their family for a year. That stockpile is a "larder" wherever it is stored.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:10 PM

Some of this reminds me of my childhood home, much different from that of the present time.
The pantry has been replaced by wall-mounted cabinets in newer homes. I still miss the pantry, a room off the kitchen where food supplies were kept. On the floor were bins with flour, sugar, pinto beans (this was in New Mexico) and potatoes. Lard was bought in 25-lb. pails. Shelves were of more interest to me, as fruit (in season) and all sorts of crackers, and cookies (biscuits to the English) were kept, along with the canned goods, and specialty items. I could always find a snack there, and it was a place where I would be out of sight. (A friend or two from more monied families had butler's pantrys.)

Brooms, mops, etc. and old coats and galoshes were kept in a closet near the back door. Milk was delivered in those days, left on the back steps. Ice was also delivered, and put in the ice box- At times I still refer to the fridge as the ice box. Somehow a pair of ice-tongs from those days has stayed with us, and a few years back I found a dairy cart's horse-stop at a house sale; I couldn't resist buying it. It is an object that disappeared from use long ago, along with horse-drawn cartage.
In the dining room, a large cabinet with drawers near the bottom. two doors in the middle section, two upper drawers for the silverware, a flat surface surmounted with mirror, and display shelf was called a sideboard or occasionally a buffet, the terms used interchangably by us.
Table linens and large serving pieces were kept there, much only used at holidays. The surface held cut glass and a silver centerpiece (The day to day stuff was kept in the kitchen, where the family usually ate at the kitchen table).
There also was a china cabinet in the dining room, with 'china' (Limoges, English or German sets), mostly handed down from the previous generation, and a 'tea' trolley used for liquor (but not tea).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Slag
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 03:59 PM

This all seems beyond the bloody pale to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 04:52 PM

Ok, explain what a 'pale' is.... and why one would be 'bloody'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 04:58 PM

Ignoring the intent of the last post- a space having bounds, or one of the pales enclosing a palisade.
The expression is fairly common, meaning out-of-bounds of proper conduct to Americans, but I doubt that many know what a pale is.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lox
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM

Does anyone remember which hollywood actor it was who described his film as "comedic"?

Ignorant actors have a large role to play in affecting language.

They are being interviewed and they don't know the word for something so, with the butter still ice cold in their mouths they invent a new one.

Then all the other actors copy them in an orgy of sycophantic reassurance.

Mr Cruise, it isn't "comedic", it's "comic".

And could everyone else stop copying him please.


(or whoever it was, though the first time I heard it, long before it became common, it was Tom Cruise who said it in an interview)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lox
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:05 PM

In Ireland Dublin is referred to by non dubliners as "the pale".

The west of Ireland being definitely beyond the pale ...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:10 PM

"Beyond the pale" refers to the time when effective English rule in Ireland was confined to a relatively small area centred on Dublin - "the Pale" (as in "palisade"). The rest of Ireland was therefore "beyond the pale", and, since English law did not operate there, considered to be lawless.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:29 PM

Well...ok, thanks. I learn something everyday here.

I had heard the expression for years, but only knew it as an expression meaning WAY out beyond normal limits...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM

English is a street fightin' language from way back. It is not a static thing. I've been noticing many instances of people starting sentences with "So, ...." and I'm pretty sure that is relatively new in the media.

As for me, I've begin pronouncing schedule without a 'k' sound, which is not how I was raised, and using the long vowel sound for the word "process". I'm turning into a blankety blank canAdian!

At least I don't spell labor and flavor with a u.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:52 PM

Since pales in England go back quite a long way (in print 14th c.), beyond the pale" may go back before before its application to the Dublin area that remained under English law. One reference from 1347 refers to pales bounding a Seignur's demeigne (OED). The English 'pale' existed in the Dublin area by 1400, so McGrath could be correct.
There was also the English pale in France.
In any case, it is interesting that the phrase has persisted for such a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:27 PM

Labour,labor and labur all have a long history. The Latin is Labor.
Schedule comes from Latin Sceda, which in classical Latin was pronounced with a 'k' but in 'Church' Latin lacks it.

Canadians are taught 'English' English, but due to closeness and television, pronunciations are mixed up. No problema.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 07:42 PM

Beyond the pale = outside the fence/city wall/palisade as has been said. We still nail 'palings' on a fence.

Closet, in the English midlands, used to refer to the water closet or lavatory.

Hood = Bonnet, on an auto = car.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Slag
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:20 PM

I'm shootin' from the hip here but I think if you looked up "pa" in Pokorny or some Indo European dictionary apparatus you would find that it is a root for such words as "paleo-" and "pastor" and "pasture" (and "power" and "father" for that matter). Specifically I seem to remember that it was the stone fence that separated the "tamed" land from the wild. Why do the English love their manicured gardens so much? Why do so many Americans go for things like rock gardens and "natural" landscaping? It all has to do with the "pale". It all has to do with civilization vs chaos. Hey? How much chaos can you tolerate?

Now, about shooting from the hip...!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM

"The Latin is Labor. Schedule comes from Latin Sceda, which in classical Latin was pronounced with a 'k' but in 'Church' Latin lacks it." Q

I've noticed quite frequently that a concession is made that the Americans' pronunciations are more historically/linguistically accurate than those of the British. Why is that? And why don't we, the Americans, get credit for that? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: melodeonboy
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 09:51 AM

"Closet, in the English midlands, used to refer to the water closet or lavatory."


Also in Kent, I believe. My grandad always referred to it as the closet. It stil sounds slightly odd to me (however common it may now be) when people talk about hanging their clothes in the closet!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:27 AM

And in the "Oh Dear!" category:
From the Australian Prime Minister re: the oil leak disaster and fire:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Monday he was "deeply disturbed" at the latest turn of events on the rig, signaling the government's rising frustration that fixing the spill is taking so long.

"Do I think this is acceptable? No, I don't," Rudd told Fairfax Radio Network. "Are we angry with this company? Yes we are. Are were trying to do everything we can to get this under control? You betcha."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 12:15 PM

In reference to the Bubbler comment way up thread... that one is used in Rhode Island, too. I grew up saying bubbler, and when my family moved to Maryland, we didn't know how to ask for the public water dispenser, because we didn't know the local term for it (water fountain). I also grew up with the misplaced "r"s. When I first attended a school in Maryland, I was shocked to discover that I was spelling "idea" wrong. As far as I knew, idea was spelled, "idear". I don't recall having ever been corrected by a teacher in RI when I spelled it that way, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:18 PM

The things you can find!

The story of "bubbler"

and they provide a linguistic map of the use of "bubbler"

Obviously, this is an excellent example of what I mentioned above as 'naming items by the most common local commercial product name.', as in Jello, Listo, etc.
I can see why this would happen, but it frustrates me when folks stubbornly cling to their local nomenclature even after moving from an area and realizing that it was NOT a generic name. (not you, Carol...I realize you were only noting it.)
   Ah well, I am a philosopher...not a psychologist. I keep expecting reason from human beings.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:44 PM

Survival sometimes dictates openmindedness about accommodating new terminology. We were really thirsty while shopping, and we really needed to find a "water fountain", so we learned quickly once we discovered nobody knew what a "bubbler" was in Maryland. Of course, we pronounced it "bubblah", which probably made it even that much more impossible to understand.

It wasn't survival that helped me learn the difference between a milkshake and a frappe, but it was disappointment in the beverage I was served that facilitated my learning the differences. When I was still living in Rhode Island, we were touristing in the DC area and I asked for a milkshake thinking I would get flavored shook milk. I was kind of disgusted with the thick ice creamy "drink" I was given. After living in Maryland for several years, I had forgotten what I once knew about milk shakes in New England, and I ordered one expecting to be served a delicious thick, ice creamy "drink", and I was deflated to discover that I had been served only flavored shook milk. Live and learn.

On the subject of word usages and pronunciation differences between spouses from different countries, JtS and I still have mock arguments over the pronunciation of the word, "pasta". I like most of the Canadian pronunciations better than US pronunciations, but I'll never like the way Canadians pronounce words like "pasta". I say "pahsta", and JtS says "paasta" (the past part is pronounced the same as the word "past"). He says it's pretentious to say it the way I do, which I find ironic and amusing.

He decided at some point to try to adopt the US pronunciation of "produce" and he assumed that the difference in pronunciation would be the same as the difference with the word "process". He pronounces the "o" in "pro" as a long "o", and I use a short "o". So he was very surprised when he learned that I have never heard anyone in the US pronounce "produce" with a short "o". Why he picked that one word to change, I'll never know.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:49 PM

I should correct this one:

He decided at some point to try to adopt the US pronunciation of "produce" and he assumed that the difference in pronunciation would be the same as the difference with the word "process". He pronounces the "o" in "pro" as a long "o", and I use a short "o" when I'm saying "process" (but not when I'm saying "produce").


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:10 PM

Consistency- what's that? It doesn't exist in the U. S.

I was raised with pro-cess (SW U. S.) and seldom heard praw-cess until I spent some time in New York. Pro-duce and prod-uce also vary regionally.

The Merriam Webster Colleciate Dictionary is based on the most common U. S. pronunciations. Here is what it has on those words:
Process- 1. prä-cess; 2. pro-cess
produce- 1. prä-duce; 2. pro-duce

Thus both are accepted in U. S. speech. Undoubtedly there are regional maps of the variation, but I am not going to look them up.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:21 PM

closet (from the online Etymology dictionary)

    c.1340, from O.Fr. closet "small enclosure," dim. of clos, from L. clausum "closed space," from neut. pp. of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). In Matt. vi:6 used to render L. cubiculum, Gk. tamieion; originally in Eng. "a private room for study or prayer;" modern sense of "small side-room for storage" is first recorded 1616. The adjective meaning "secret, unknown" recorded from 1952, first of alcoholism, but by 1970s used principally of homosexuality; the phrase come out of the closet "admit something openly" first recorded 1963, and led to new meanings for the word out.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:15 PM

From my reading, in mediaeval castles, the toilet (can't remember the term used) was a hole was overhanging the moat, which received the deposits. The effluvium percolated upwards back into the closet, where the inhabitants kept their spare clothing, because the smell kept the moths away.
Just the rich inhabitants, of course. Poor ones HAD no spare clothes.

Neatly ties up both usages, eh!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:28 PM

Why don't people look up generally accepted pronunciations rather than posting their local or personal usages and pet hates and excoriating variations?

Crow Sister- Decade in the Oxford English Dictionary is given as de-cade (with equal stress on both syllables), not dek-ade.

Someone called 'comedic' American, but the OED has an English quote from 18-something.
A catalogue I just received from the BBC describes a DVD offering of "Sensitive Skin" as follows: "Joanna Lumley ...absolutely electrifies as a recent widow in this warm and touching comedic drama."
Moreover, 'comedical' appeared in print in 1600 (OED).
A comedist is a writer of comedies. Etc.

Decay, Merriam Webster's Dictionary, gives di-kay as the preferred U. S. pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Slag
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:32 PM

Language lives in the idiom.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:37 PM

Gurney, I think the hole in the castle wall is called a "garderobe".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:40 PM

re: pasta...My 2nd generation Italian wife says 'pahsta', and looks agahsta at any other pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:42 PM

(and I am informed that in England, they often order in 'pitza'....)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:45 PM

It looks to me like this thread is more about individual experiences with word usages and pronunciations than generally accepted ones. At least, that seems to be what the thread originator was talking about. So it doesn't seem at all off topic for people to discuss these things from their own perspectives. Besides, it's an interesting and informative subject. Also, what's generally accepted in one location might not be in another. Frequently there aren't any generally accepted pronunciations or usages.

What doesn't seem to quite make sense is when people insist that the word usages and pronunciations that are in use in their own locality are the generally accepted ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:46 PM

How do you pronounce "pasta", Bill?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:51 PM

No — I was the thread originator, and words and idioms were what I was talking about [as e.g. American military 'off limits; driving out traditional English 'out of bounds']. Other people drifted my thread into variant pronunications, changing names of places in different languages {which caused Alice to give vent to a most peculiar outburst and I hope she has got her temper back now}, and so on. All very interesting, no doubt; but only marginally or tangentially related to my original point.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:55 PM

Dictionaries can give "generally accepted pronunciations", but these don't necessarily coincide with the variation in how people talk, especially regional variations, even within countries. (eg Geordies!) Nor for that matter do they keep tag of the way in which speech varies over the years.

There's always a tension of opinion as to whether dictionaries should be primarily descriptive or prescriptive - should they record how we do speak, or instruct us as to how we should speak.

The general consensus, in the UK anyway, seems to be that the emphasis should be on the former.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:13 PM

Dictionaries can assert that they are giving "generally accepted pronunciations", but that doesn't make it true. As we can see, there are so many regional variations in word usages and pronunciations, I think it's often not possible to nail down a "generally accepted" word usage or pronunciation, especially considering the fact that even dictionaries are frequently not in agreement with one another.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:21 PM

That's as may be, but the dictionar also serves the purpose of standardizing definitions, spellings and pronunciation of words.

This is useful so that when we write each other letters we can understand each other.

Aiph woui dythunt woueed phoaind kerrm-moon-akay-shunn dyphykoulter.

That's one of the reasons for dictionary's - they aren't just collections of linguistic trivia.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:22 PM

In the US, at least, when a child goes to a parent or teacher and asks how to pronounce a word, the answer is often "look it up in the dictionary". This is supposed to be a learning experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:54 PM

Mthe GM

While you are at it, change off-license to out of .... Hmmm, doesn't make sense, does it?

"Off limits" was accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary because it is useful; defined as "outside the limits within which a particular group or class of people must remain; not to be frequented or patronized, esp. by military personnel; out of bounds."
This more specialized meaning, originally coined by the military, has proven useful.
Webster's has an additional sense; "not to be interferred with," which is later that the WW2 original meaning.

Off limits is common in Canadian writing, e. g., polluted bay water in Bay of Quinte, Ontario- "Raw bay water still off limits: health officials." Bellville Intelligencer. "City land off limits," Windsor Star.
Also see- Australian Customs Services notices, World Wildlife Federation articles (Fishing for Funds to be placed off limits for rule breakers), New Zealand where the Army training area, called "Off Limits," is hosting motorcycle races, etc.

Out of bounds also is in common usage in the U. S.; "He stepped out of bounds, or the ball went out of bounds," etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:48 PM

(I have always pronounced pasta the way Rita says it...and never even thought of other ways till this thread.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:40 PM

If everyone pronounced every word the way they are given in the dictionary, there would be no accents of dialects. I don't see the point in eliminating accents and dialects, and in fact, I think the world would be far less interesting, fun, and even less beautiful if that were the case. I like to use the dictionary for word meanings, myself, but if I'm in an area where a word has a meaning or pronunciation that differs from the one in the dictionary, most of the time, I'm going to respect that the people I am among at that moment do it differently. I like some of them better or worse than others, myself, but I don't see the point in trying to tell people they have to say it the way it is in the dictionary if that's not how it is done locally.

One of the things I love about Newfoundland is that there is a different accent and/or dialect in just about every town or village, and I love all of them. I find it very sad that these are starting to go away because of the influence of television and films.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:41 PM

*accents or dialects


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:52 PM

The important thing to avoid the kind of linguistic confusion Lox demonstrated there is to regularise spelling. That avoids the kind of problem that Lox demonstrated there. But spelling is only a rough guide to pronunciation as best in English.

Even where dictionaries include phonetic guidance about official pronunciation, that can have very little effect on how English speakers around the world (or indeed around England) may actually say them.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:38 PM

"I don't see the point in eliminating accents and dialects,"

Standardizing spellings etc does not equate to eliminating the differences, it is about referring them to a common denominator.

That way we are able to talk about English as a language, while being able to define subcategories within it in relation to a central - and evolving core linguistic fundament.

There are very few people who speak perfect english all the time in ther own home, but for weathermen, politicians, doctors, lawyers etc throughout the english speaking world, it is essential that diagnoses, rulings, forecasts, policies, and interpretations are clear and unambiguous, so that a man from the outer hebrides may do business with a man from jersey without quibblig over the meaning of words etc.

A dictionary is nothing more than a practical problem solving tool.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:41 PM

By the way, I wrote all the above in a very refined clipped English accent.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:06 PM

"I don't see the point in eliminating accents and dialects..."

Neither do I.... they DO make the world more interesting and provide continuity in culture. I have NO objection to preserving tradition and having a comfortable way to speak in their neighborhoods.
I just wish more places had something similar to the Umgangsprache in Germany, or the standardized high-level language the Swiss employ - especially written for the use. This way, even though areas might have their colloquial differences, they could also have a general "almost everyone understands it" way of communicating.
In the USA and most industrialized countries, it would be the 'basic' form used on the 'National' television news programs.

In this country, there are problems in many school systems as programs are often faced with many students who do poorly because they don't 'get' basic instructions.

This might seem a bit of a departure from the thread topic, but it applies in a world where many folks visit other countries for education...or just as tourists.

(*grin*...I had an interesting debate with MGAS (Hil) at the Getaway as we debated what my very large box of a Dodge vehicle was called...a van? a camper? a caravan?.. I think we settled on 'that very large vehicle')


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM

Is anyone else reminded of all the other threads we've had over the years about American English and British English?

I guess we don't link related threads in the BS section the way we do now in the Music section. It just seems we are going over and over the same things we've discussed in previous threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:15 PM

I see Lox & I made similar points at about the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:20 PM

Divided by a common language, thread Aug 08


Language - American/English, thread May 07


Two cultures divided by a common language


Searching on "language", all years, above are just 3 of the many threads that come up, including two called Mangling the English language.

Yup, we have gone off the specific topic in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:31 PM

The speech used by BBC broadcasters comes close to a standardized, common currency speech.
We get the complete BBC News Channel, by cable, and enjoy not only the news and business, but the many special programs that they present throughout the day. The language is good, 'clean' English, spoken with good diction; if they say pahs-ta, it is still understandable to those who say pas-ta.
Of course, the sports section causes head-scratching when the subject is kricket.

At the opposite end is "Eastenders," seen sometimes on television here.
And I can never remember if the slang expression 'half six' is 5:30 or 6:30.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM

I don't have any problem with standardized spellings. But we know that how things are spelled really has nothing to do with how words are pronounced and how they are used, which to me is a good thing. And it's definitely true that it's not uncommon for English speakers to not be able to understand each other very well. I don't have a problem with that, either, any more than I have a problem with there being many different languages in the world besides English, and many dialects within those languages. I like living in a world that is linguistically diverse.

I was thinking about asking you what kind of accent you normally have, Lox, knowing what I do about your background. Is it more like your place of origin, the country in which you spent your youth, or the place where you now live? Or a blend of all three?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:57 PM

On the subject of schools, I agree that it is good if people are able to speak and write both in their local accent/dialect as well as in a form of their language that is considered appropriate for academic settings. JtS is very much that way. His normal speech is perhaps a little less influenced by his Newfoundland origins (alas), and his speech can be very generic sounding (for North America) when needed, but he can and does talk in a thick Newfoundland dialect when he's talking to other Newfoundlanders.

I somehow lost my Rhode Island accent when we moved to Maryland. My siblings picked up the local Maryland accent, but for some reason, I did not. So my speech sounds much more North American generic and not resembling any particular place. I don't know what I think of that. I think I might prefer to have kept my Rhode Island accent had that been possible for me. I'm glad I don't have a native Maryland accent (sorry native Marylanders - different strokes and all that).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Slag
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:39 PM

Oh, and Bill_D! "Bloody" because that is one of the functions of a "pale". Lines drawn in the sand, barbed wire, razor wire, pales ("impaled"?), moats, Great Walls; they are all designed to set a limit with consequences for those who do not heed the meaning. Lines are drawn and enforced by those who have authority and power, from property lines to national boundaries (frontiers). "Bloody" because "bloody" is pretty much an identifiable English expression as is the term "pale" and after all, that's what this thread started off about.

Nearly every dictionary I have referenced shows the term "lawyer" with the preferred pronunciation (sorry. I don't have umlauts available) "lah' yer", but it is almost universally pronounced "loi'-yer" (which drives me nuts!). Are these people who practice loi? or law? Well, those folks do tend to have their own language, don't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:58 PM

Q, 'half six' is an abbreviation of 'half past six,' or as Americans might say six-thirty. But which side of the six IS the thirty?

We now await the substitution of 'proven' for 'proved.' I've never heard a Commonweath citizen use proven.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:08 AM

Right side.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:03 AM

Oh, proven IS sometimes used, in 'legal' language.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:24 AM

"I've never heard the word proven used by a Commonwealth citizen"

The word 'proven' is a common enough term in Scottish Standard English. There are other words which are thought to be more American but are also very common in Scotland like "gotten and pinkie" I think it is a mistake to think in terms like "British English" when in fact there are various types of British English.

It is like the full page article in the Daily Mail yesterday which claimed that Halloween was an American import virtually uncelebrated in Britain up until several decades ago. Of course it has always been a big to do in Scotland the only real difference now being that since the film ET kids tend to call themselves "trick or treaters" instead of "guisers".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:02 AM

Most of our stuff (here in the US) comes from other places, originally. We just find ways of putting it all together and making it our own.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:47 AM

Hey Alice,

You know last night I was having a really interesting conversation with some friends of mine at my local bar, when I discovered that some other people had already had that conversation on a previous occasion in the same bar.

Boy did I feel silly.

Me and my friends should just have sat around and listened to a recording of the other peoples conversation as they had pretty much exhausted the the topic thus rendering our conversation redundant.

A passer by who knew of their conversation pointed it out to us, and boy were we grateful!

She suggested we go and find out what they had said before wasting any more time effectively rehashing their ideas in what I know see was a completely substandard way.

I won't be making That mistake again!!

Oh and thanks for putting us straight in this thread by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:04 AM

Hey, I was not trying to stop the conversation, LOL, I was just pointing out how many times we've had similar threads!
Those interested in this thread just may be interested in the other old threads, too.
You misunderstood my reason for posting what I wrote.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM

Q and McGrath, living close by a railway in Ireland Guards Van was in common usage with the old goods trains.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM

This might be of interest, bye the way we still "wet the tay" in the wee sick,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8339552.stm


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM

Gutties from Gutta Percha, the rubber substance extracted from trees, in Malaya?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:50 AM

Shouldn't "half six" be "three"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:39 AM

"Proven" is from old Scottish law.

By contrast to English and American law, there are not TWO possible verdicts in a criminal trial, but three. In England and America, the jury may return a verdict of either "Guilty" or "Not Guilty". Not both, and not any other option.

In old Scottish law (I've heard that this has changed, but I don't know), the verdict might be "Guilty", "Not Guilty", or "Not Proven". The significance of "Not Proven" is that the prosecution has not sustained its burden or proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but that the evidence doesn't show that the defendant didn't do it. "Not Proven" doesn't give the defendant a clean bill of legal health, but declares that the State may not impose the punishment due to an established guilty party.

NOTE: On a related subject, in Anglo-American law, a jury NEVER returns a verdict of "Innocent". The "Not Guilty" verdict doesn't deal with innocence at all, but with the failure of proof of guilt. Innocence in our system is a moral or ethical concept, not a legal one. A verdict of "Not Guilty" doesn't find that "the defendant didn't do it", but that "the prosecution didn't prove that the defendant did the crime alleged against him", and doesn't distinguish between the factual not having committed the act and the mere failure of proof.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:45 AM

Now "Twitter" has a new meaning in every country.

I heard something (I think on National Public Radio) recently that was an example of a conversation in acronyms and internet slang.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:06 AM

However the principle of "innocent till proved guilty" means that a Not Guilty verdict means that a person has to be assumed to be innocent.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:06 PM

Alice - Sorry - tough day.

Glad you were able to laugh at it though. It shows character.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:28 PM

Public school, anyone?
UK usage differs from American-Canadian usage.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:16 PM

Ah. Q, I have wondered about that- what is the rationale behind calling something restricted 'public'? There had to be a beginning somewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:22 PM

I think it kind of makes sense when one takes into consideration the nature of monarchies throughout history and the nature of democracies (in particular, countries that started out as democracies). In a county like the US everything the government owns is the property of the people, hence, government schools are "public". In a country like the UK, that hasn't always been the case, so a school that is owned by members of the public rather than the government, might be called a "public" school. That's my theory, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:30 PM

In medieval days in England the only schooling was either the nobility having private tutors, or the church educating its own "workforce".
The public schools which developed (was it in the time of Henry the eighth ?) were open to anyone whose family could pay, hence public schools.
Admittedly this meant the merchants, small landowners and middle classes who could afford it rather than any peasant, so it wasnt the general public which we mean today, and which is the usage in American "public" schools


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:45 AM

"In a country like the UK etc"

Again like earlier in the thread this is simply expanding English (and Welsh) usage to the entire UK. In Scotland education for all was a concept whch took on earlier than most other places. Local schools run and financed by the authorities are traditionally known as Public Schools in the way we have Public Libraries etc. Nowadays to avoid possible confusion with English usage the Public Schools are often referred to as State Schools. The Private Schools are often called Independent Schools.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:57 AM

I suppose it is, and it also looks like my theory didn't hold much water anyway. But it can be confusing trying to refer to a country that seems to be made up of more than one country. I imagine it's equally confusing for those not in the US when we talk about the differences between our states.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 06:45 AM

Alice when I was young I heard the term,"what are you twittering about"
referring to someone annoying the listener.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: s&r
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 07:34 AM

What country started out as a democracy?

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 09:45 AM

S&R asked:

What country started out as a democracy?

I don't know which country(s) started out as democracies (and I doubt that any modern states did), but I know that the United States emphatically did not.   The United States was and is a federation of republics, run as a sort of uber-republic. A democracy would have to be tiny, like the ancient Greek City-States, or town-meeting towns, in order to have the whole citizen body participate in government.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 11:02 AM

Re: proven. Commonly used in Canada (a Commonwealth country!).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 06:33 PM

"confusion when talking about a country made up of different countries"

Aye you are right. Many non-Brits do get confused when talking about England and Great Britain (or the UK) and I suppose it is because a big majority of British people are English hence it is easy to think that British = English. To be quite frank you come across British people who don't really know the difference between GB and the UK :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:42 PM

While it's true that the US has never practiced direct democracy, it was started as a representative democracy (and a constitutional republe - these two things are not mutually exclusive), which is a form of democracy.

I don't automatically think "English" when I think of the UK. I think English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish. (And there are other parts as well? Some of the islands? Cornwall?) But I definitely am not very knowledgeable about the different political realities in the various parts of the UK over the centuries.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:44 PM

* Correction: constitutional republic


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 11:03 AM

Corredtion Carol, when abroad ask a Scot, Welsh person or even the Irish from the wee six their nationality and they wont answer British.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 01:00 PM

In sporting events, when they are winning, it's a British victory in the media. But lose and they are Scottish, Welsh or Irish.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Rowan
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM

What country started out as a democracy?

I suppose it depends on how one defines "country".

When our continent was known on maps as "Australia del Spiritu Sancto" (I think I've got the Spanish correct) I doubt it could be called a country, as it had several hundred quite different groups of people living there, with little or no contact between many of the groups. When it was colonised by the British (most, but not all, of whom were English) its eastern seaboard was called New South Wales until separate colonies were established.

Matthew Flinders was the first to 'formally 'give the continent the name "Australia" after he'd completed its circumnavigation (1803, from recollection, when the British Crown was still very much in control over the colonial apparatus, Rum Rebellion notwithstanding) and mapped almost all its periphery but it wasn't until the late 19th century that large groups of people started referring to themselves as Australians. Government by 'relatively' democratic processes was in place in all the colonies occupying the country by that time and, when they were formally federated into the Commonwealth of Australia (New Year's Day, 1901) it was as a result of democratic processes

Perhaps we qualify.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:46 PM

I didn't mean to suggest that Carol doesn't know the difference between the main constituent parts of the UK. Although undoubtedly there are many non-Brits who quite understandably don't know. I was really trying to help by pointing out that one can't presume that there is a single form of British Standard English or that English terms like "public school" would mean the same throughout Britain. There isn't and they don't. Without going into dialects of Scots themselves which is a seperate matter- the form of Standard English spoken in Scotland is generally called Scottish Standard English and has many differences from what we in Scotland sometimes call English Standard English. So English, American English and Scottish English all exist but there is not really a 'British English' as such.

What forms the UK is more complicated than first appears. Basically the UK proper consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Prior to the UK - Great Britain itself was formed by the 1707 Union of the Scottish and English kingdoms. Wales at that time was officially (if not popularly) regarded as being part of the English kingdom. Hence it is not represented on the Union Flag. In modern times Wales is again officially recognised as a seperate entity from England and a constituent part of GB. Cornwall has a definite identity which seperates it from other English counties but it is in fact a county of England. The likes of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are crown dependencies hence are linked to the UK, and the UK represents them in foreign affairs, but they are not actually part of the UK.

Like I said it is complicated :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:03 AM

Okay - since we're on the subject - here's a question: is there a politically-correct term that encompasses what I believe was once (and perhaps still is?) known as the "British Isles" - including the whole of Ireland, north and south? Occasionally, I find I want to refer to the whole kit and caboodle collectively (trust me; I have my reasons), but I'm unsure of how to do that.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:20 AM

For the vast majority of people here the collective term for the British Isles is the British Isles and of course in truth it always has been. There are now some Irish who dislike this term and look for alternatives. I 'suppose' they dislike the term for political reasons and because they think it implies that the islands belong to Britain but of course that is not so. The term Pretanic or Britannic isles etc was coined in "whenever BC" millenia before the formation of Great Britain and before the largest island itself was even called Britain. So in realty it is akin to some Canadians suddenly disliking the term North American Continent because the term America is already part of their neighbour's name.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Hrothgar
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:54 AM

Statistically, we don't have a chance. Of all the people in the world who speak some form of English as a first language, more than half are Americak (or, to be more particular, live in the USA).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 03:08 AM

This may sound strange, but until this discussion here in this thread, I didn't think the term "British" had any current validity. For some reason, I had gotten the impression that the correct term was UK and that "Britain" was obsolete. I didn't realize they were both current, and that they each referred to something different. Learn something new every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 06:41 AM

The correct formal term for the state is the UK and has been so for several centuries. In full it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However more often than not this is shortened to Great Britain or just Britain. There is no term like United Kingdomers and we have British Citizens on our passports so in that sense at least British is till the common and correct term when talking about nationality though again it gets more complicated than that as if you ask people what their nationality is they may well self identify as Scottish or English etc.

In the mid 20thC many Scots would have been quite at ease to say they were equally Scottish and British but that has changed. In general polls tend to show that about a third of Scots regard themselves as Scots and not British. Nearly another third regard themsleves as more Scottish than British. About a quarter say they are equally Scottish and British and quite a small minority say they are more British than Scottish or only British. The last two categories account for less than 10% of people living in Scotland and probably relate to incomers from other parts of the UK rather than those who were born Scots.

It is interesting stuff. Of course if pressed many of those insisting they are not British at all would admit they are making a political point more than anything else. Even if the UK broke up we would all still be British (both geographically and culturally) in the way that Swedes are Scandinavian or Canadians are North Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 05:00 PM

Northern Ireland became an entity in 1921, so "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" has not been the formal term "for several centuries."

Apparently the collective term for the islands must be- UK and the Republic of Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 04:19 AM

When I was at school, "big" was an adjective.

Some bright spark invented to "big up" somewthing and the rest of the world thinks it has to copy.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 04:22 AM

Sorry, "something" - typing mistake NOT spelling mistake - there is a difference!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM

"United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland hasn't been the formal term for centuries"

Of course it hasn't and no-one said it had been. What I said was the formal term for the state was the UK and had been for several centuries. Prior to the 1920s, and since 1801, the full title was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The only difference since the 1920s has been the change affecting Ireland. The term is still the UK though - as it ws prior to the 1920s.

Of course the collective term for the islands isn't the UK and Republic of Ireland. That is simply a 'partial' list of the political entities that constitute the British Isles. As I said the term British Isles long predates the names UK, Ireland, England, Scotland, Man or whatever. It is the only collective term that would be recognised by the vast majority of people in these islands. I have seen other suggetions one example being the "Atlantic Islands" but really if you used that virtually no-one would know what on earth was being talked about.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 02:56 PM

"The formal correct term for the state is the UK and has been so for several centuries. In full it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."

To those of us who need a short but clear name for the islands, UK and the Republic of Ireland is sufficient.

Never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 03:34 PM

When James VI of Scotland became King James I of England the term "United Kingdoms" was coined. I've never been clear when it got switched to "United Kingdom". Following the Act of Union a hundred years later?

I'm rather surprised the older term hasn't been revived since devolution came along a few years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 05:25 PM

It is well to remember that in The United States of America (the official title),like Scotland, there are many people who identify more with their state or region than as 'Americans'..unless the country as a whole is threatened as it was in WWII.

There are many who, as with Scotland, would prefer to have even more 'independence'. They want their various laws, taxes, religions...etc... to reflect a particular cultural norm, and have little interest in 'what's best for the country as a whole'....thus, the current health care debate.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 05:49 PM

When it comes to heralth services there are a few differences within the various countries in the UK. For example in Scotland and Wales the devolved administrations have got rid of charges for presciptions that exist in England (and they'll be gone in Northern Ireland next year).

Are there states in the USA where they are planning to introduce a proper health service even if the Federal Government fals to do so?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 05:55 PM

If by "proper", you mean paid for by taxes, open to just about everyone, and with no fee at point of service, than no.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 06:03 PM

James VI also used the term Great Britain but it was his personal use and didn't relate to any reality other than the normal geographic use to describe the island. The two kingdoms of Scotland and England remained seperate kingdoms who just happened to share a monarch. I don't know about his use of 'united kingdoms' but I would guess that he was simply talking about the various kingdoms under his control. Neither GB or the UK were any official titles for any state. In 1707 the united kingdom of Great Britain is brought into being but again the official name was GB with the UK part being descriptive. In 1801 on union with Ireland the official title of the state then had United Kingdom incorporated into it. I imagine 'united kingdoms' would be used originally because that was what it was 'seperate kingdoms united under a shared monarch' whereas later on the individual kingdoms of Scotland and England (and later Ireland) were replaced by a single kingdom.

I don't quite understand what you are meaning in regard to devolution as the various pre-union kingdoms have not been revived and we remain for the moment one single kingdom. The SNP position is that if they succesfully persuaded the Scottish people to opt for independence from the UK then the monarch would remain head of state and from that date of course Kingdom of Scotland would come back into existence.

What would be interesting is how would the rest of the UK react (ie would Northern Ireland and Wales remain firmly in the union) and what the name would be? Would it be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland - or do you think they'd opt to retain Britain in the name?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 07:31 PM

I'd have thought that the Scot Nationalist posititon would be that, regardless of the political position and the link with England, Scotland was already a nation, as it always had been, and that the correct way of expressing this would be by referring to "the United Kingdoms".

As for what to call the rest of the present UK if Scotland pulls out, maybe they could call it "the United Kingdom of Southern Britain and Northern Ireland". Though since neither Wales nor Northern Ireland have ever been kingdoms, I'm not too sure that "United Kingdom" would be appropriate. But perhaps it'll be a republic by that time anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 04:05 AM

"Re- United Kingdoms"

I honestly can't recall ever hearing any Scot, whether nationalist or not, use the term 'United Kingdoms' to desribe anything relating to modern times. Likewise I'd imagine the vast majority of Scots regard Scotland as a nation whether they are nationalists or not. The fact is we are a single kingdom which is made up of several nations and countries - so usage of United Kingdom by Nats simply reflects the present reality.

Northern Ireland has never been a kingdom it is true but that doesn't stop the present name from being the United Kingdom. The UK in the official title reflects the union between the kingdoms of GB and Northern Ireland which was the successor to the 1801 union between GB and Ireland. Ireland of course was formerly a kingdom even if it was a forced one. When James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth of England he not only became King of England but also became King of Ireland. I'm not 100% up on the English/Irish history but I think up until Henry VIII or so, Ireland was treated as a Lordship of the English monarch but he assumed Kingship of Ireland. I've maybe got the wrong English monarch there but I think the time period is close.

The point about the republican thing is interesting. The monarchy is still relatively popular. Within the SNP there are many Republicans but officially the party's position is monarchist. I think if they succeeded in their goal for independence then it wouldn't be long before the constitutional question re the moanrchy came to the fore. It is two seperate issues of course and I take it putting the monarchy question on the back burner means they don't risk alienating monarchists.

I imagine we will get a better idea as to how Scots will progress during the next UK government's term. The situation within Scotland is a strange one in that at Hollyrood level the most bitter political enemies are the SNP and Labour - however at UK level the Tories are much more unpopular in Scotland. So if we get a Tory UK government going head to head against an SNP administration in Edinburgh then politically within Scotland I can see only one winner there and it wouldn't be David Cameron. Interestingly he's half Scottish but like Tony Blair before him doesn't push his Scottish connections at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 11:31 AM

"To those of us who need a short but clear name for the islands, UK and the Republic of Ireland is sufficient."

Certainly clear enough - but a bit of a mouthful for my purposes. For instance, it seems a bit stilted to say something like, "Here's a tune you don't hear much around here, but it's popular in the UK and the Republic of Ireland." That's eleven syllables, and stresses unnecessarily the political distinctions, whereas "the British Isles" is a mere four syllables - but possibly blurs the political distinctions in a way that may be offensive to some of your listeners. I'm still not certain about that matter - GUEST Allan Connochie states that it SHOULD be acceptable - but hints that it may not be.

Furthermore, to state something like, "it's popular in the UK and the Republic of Ireland", implies certainty that it is popular in the Republic of Ireland specifically, along with the UK, while the speaker may not be that sure of where exactly the tune is popular, other than that it is popular in at least parts of the "British Isles".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 11:50 AM

Could one say "Britain and Ireland" then?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 06:55 PM

"Could one say Britain and Ireland then?"

One could - and to be fair it makes more sense than saying the 'UK and Republic of Ireland' which is simply a list of two of the political units in the islands. However it wouldn't really do as not all of the islands in the British Isles are part of Britain or Ireland. As I said the vast majority of people in these islands are happy with the existing and original term which predates all other more modern terms anyway. I suspect many who object to the name do so on the back of an incorrect assumption that by saying British Isles one is meaning the isles belong to Britain which of course is nonsense.

The British Isles were called that or a variation of that (Pretanike or Britannic) as far back as the 1st millenium BC. The two largest islands were called Albion and Hibernia. The Romans invaded Albion and secured all but the far north within the empire and named this Roman province Britannia. The name then took on as the name for the larger island itself and Albion faded into obscurity. Hence the larger island was named after the island group rather than the island group being named after the larger island. Albion remains in various forms. It is used poetically to describe England and of course the Gaelic name for Scotland (Alba) is thought to be derived from it.

The state of Great Britain didn't come into being until 1707 which is almost 2 millenia after the name British Isles - as well as about 600 years afeter the first Anglo-Norman invasions of Ireland. For the vast bulk of its existence the name British Isles would be looked on purely as a geographic term - and of course it still is a purely geographic term. Despite what some politically correct types like to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 06:51 AM

Yes Carol one could say Britain and Ireland, I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 11:54 AM

My brain hurts.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM

Turning nouns into verbs.

About as Yank as it gets........


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM

Brit English has always turned nouns into verbs: many examples in Shax, e.g. "He out-Herods Herod"; "Grace me no Grace and Uncle me no Uncle"...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 02:07 PM

See Oxford English Dictionary- turning nouns into verbs is a pretty old practice.

How about- Republic of Ireland and those other people.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 02:35 PM

The Friendly Isles - united by a taste for irony.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM

Cook published a map of "The Friendly Isles" in 1777. Tonga has priority.
David Rumsey map collection. www.davidrumsey.com


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 03:13 PM

"all you folks who live on various sized islands near the coast of continental Europe."

*trying to come up with an acronym, but not having much luck*


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 03:48 PM

How about United Superb Lands Of Towering-geniuses — abbreviated to Us Lot?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM

trying to come up with an acronym, but not having much luck

Therfe's always "The WISE Islands" - Welsh, Irish, Scottisdh, English. As ironic as "Friendly"...

Maybe we could extend the name Silly Islands to cover the entire archipelago. And drop the C.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM

Would the Scilians object?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 05:35 PM

Ah, but silly derives from "saelig" meaning holy, as all from Silly Sussex kno.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 05:39 PM

Kraft makes hostile takeover bid for Cadbury. Now that's a takeover!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: melodeonboy
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 05:09 PM

Hmmmm... Crap cheese company takes over crap chocolate company. Hydrogenated vegetable oils galore! Yum-yum!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 05:23 PM

hummmph! I quite LIKE Cadbury's...when I can get them.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 03:49 AM

One example which has been ticking around my head since I started this thread has just surfaced — the term used in the military for servicemen [and women] who are not officers. The correct, & official, British English term for those not commissioned in the British armed services is "Other Ranks" ['OR' or 'ORs']. But the distinguished English novelist Ben Elton, in one of his books with a British military setting, persistently used the American equivalent "Enlisted men", which set my teeth on edge every time I came across it. Whether ignorance, or wilfulness, or a misguided attempt at Transpond trendiness on Elton's part, I have no means of knowing — I did write to him on the matter c/o his publishers but received no response. But I hope this won't catch on. You over there may have your 'enlisted men', but we have our 'other ranks', & long may it remain so.

Re previous post — in Noel Coward's play 'Relative Values', an American visitor who announces she is going 'horseriding' receives the reply "We just say 'riding' - the horse is taken for granted".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 04:11 AM

... & another usage-variant of which I am reminded by a post on the Things to Do Before Dying thread is that we bury our dead in 'coffins'; 'caskets' over here are used to keep jewels &c in. I can't help feeling that your use of 'casket' for this concept probably originated as a somewhat genteel undertakers' euphemism — would I be correct in that?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 12:10 PM

MtheGM, I just have a sneaking suspicion that the use of "caskets" for the corpse-burial container may be one of those many American survivals of older British usages, rather than Americanisms, whether mortician or otherwise.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 12:41 PM

I have checked the full edition of the Oxford Dict, which gives NO instance of the word 'casket, being used as a synonym for 'coffin' except under the head firmly labelled U.S., giving an earliest use of 1870. I think my above suggestion holds, Uncle Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 12:43 PM

Incidentally, there is another example you provided -- your 'mortician' is our 'undertaker'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:05 PM

The general term is no longer "enlisted men."

It's "enlisted persons."

Is that the sound of teeth grinding I hear?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:08 PM

Mortician and undertaker - both words are used here in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:12 PM

Where I live in the mountain west, people generally say undertaker. Other parts of America people may say mortician, but that's just another example of how a big country has regional differences.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:22 PM

Mortician is another late 19th c. word, which first appeared in an advertisement for burial services. A 1915 entry said the word is a "recent inovation due to a need felt by undertakers for a word in keeping and more descriptive of their calling." (OED)

In 1863, Hawthorne said "'caskets' is a vile modern phrase which compels a person to shrink from the idea of being buried at all." (OED)

In the U. S. and Canada, both mortician and undertaker and both coffin and casket are in common usage.

These, and other terms, may result from members of various occupations trying to glorify their callings. Political Correctness is bringing about more of these replacements, esp. in the U. S.; e. g. the word 'garbageman' is being replaced by 'sanitary' worker or similar euphemism.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:34 PM

And your 'garbageman' is our 'dustman' — see Dickens' Our Mutual Friend & Shaw's Pygmalion.

& so ad infinitum...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 07:28 PM

Generally, it is "officers" and "enlisted" in the US military - "enlisted persons" is a relic of the misguided 'politically correct' movement and is not used. Actually, enlisted is the generic term and, when referring to specific individuals, one would use a branch-specific term, such as soldiers, sailors, airmen (yes, it's airMEN) and Marines. Marine gets capitalized - its important to them. There is also a set of ranks that is in-between - warrants or warrant officers.   I seem to recall from someplace that the British army refers to senior noncommissioned officers, such as the regimental sergeant major, as a warrant. The US military reserves the term for specialists.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 08:15 PM

You mean the "politically correct movement" as in the "Handbook for Marine NCOs" (1995)?: "Similarly, when enlisted persons speak of themselves or to or of other enlisted persons they should do so by rank -'Lance Corporal Daly,' not just 'Daly.'"

Or how about the "Enlisted Soldier's Guide" (2006)?: "Enlisted persons are eligible upon completion of initial MOS-producing courses."

As you say, "enlisted" is also commonly used. But the full term is still "enlisted persons" and has been for as long as women have held enlisted rank.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 08:54 PM

Whatever you say, Lighter.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 11:23 PM

' I seem to recall from someplace that the British army refers to senior noncommissioned officers, such as the regimental sergeant major, as a warrant.'

Artbrooks, I think you might be ref'ing here a recent series of posts of mine on the Help: Bless' Em All thread in which I spell out some of the complexities of senior non-com ['enlisted'] ranks in the British army.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 12:48 AM

Actually, I missed that thread - I think I was remembering something from an old (pre-Flashman) George MacDonald Frasier novel titled "The General Danced at Dawn".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 01:09 AM

Ah, Artbrooks - a fellow G MacD F enthusiast! Hurrah. I used to correspond with him about inaccuracies - particularly in Flashman In The Great Game where he recalls absently-mindedly humming Widdecombe Fair in barracks while disguised as a trooper of Native Cavalry on eve of Indian Mutiny 1857; & I pointed out that the Baring-Gould version which he obviously had in mind wasn't pub'd till 1891 — & he replied charmingly, as he always did, "Oh dear, that old fool Flashman misremembering again & I failed to pick it up in my editing!"

I think it a tragedy that he died before getting to the American Civil War so that we might find out at last how Harry Flashman contrived to fight on both sides and hold commissions in both armies. But perhaps that was policy on Fraser's part - just his little joke to keep us guessing!

I will refresh the Bless em all thread for you — I think you might find my observations, which come last of all, of interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:49 PM

"Morticians" is not an Americanism, it's a barbarism. I'm glad to see Bob Dylan doesn't use it:

"And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 08:19 PM

Mortician -
Painting, Edvard Monk, "Office Christmas Party, London Society of Morticians, 1905." See it here:
http://www.dearauntnettie.com/museum/museum-xmasparty.htm

The first mortician was William Russel, who started a business in 1688.

Morticians Day is celebrated on June 16.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM

'Mortician' has invaded British medical and death literature. Sorry, McGrath, UK usage will yield to American every time.

Article about Scottish Television broadcast-

"A team of morticians from Glasgow is travelling to France to exhume and identify an estimated 400 British and Australian soldiers killed during the First World War and buried in a mass grave."
http://video.stv.tv/bc/news-090429-france

See "British National Formulary," Section on British Medical Association ..."and other risk groups such as morticians and embalmers ..."
betamedicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/6488.htm

"Work and Environment
Certain jobs can put people at risk from hepatitis because they may involve contact with infectious body fluids.
-Healthcare workers
-Other workers who might come in contact with body fluids including morticians, sewage workers, ..."
http://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/home/the-liver/liver-diseases/hepatitis-b.aspx

All three of the above citations from UK websites.

Morticians, who in most European and North American countries are required to have training and a license, wish to distance their practice from that of the businessman-undertaker.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 07:01 AM

Going back a few years I don`t ever remember seeing the word `siblings`,
`how`s the siblings doing`, imagine asking this of some old friend here in Ireland, looks like another US import, Ooo MY GADD, I WAS LIKE,
Yes youse guys US speak is here to stay.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 07:31 AM

I think 'siblings' is less an Amercicanism than a catch-all term from sociology that has got out into the mainstream. Quite a useful word, to my mind — we have 'parent' to mean father or mother & 'spouse' to mean husband or wife — so why not a useful word to mean brother or sister?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 12:00 PM

Q, you post English usage

"Mortician -
Painting, Edvard Monk, "Office Christmas Party, London Society of Morticians, 1905." See it here:
http://www.dearauntnettie.com/museum/museum-xmasparty.htm

"The first mortician was William Russel, who started a business in 1688.

"Morticians Day is celebrated on June 16."

And tthen you go on to post this:

'Mortician' has invaded British medical and death literature. Sorry, McGrath, UK usage will yield to American every time.'

And then people wonder why we USasians feel bashed? tut tut


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 12:37 PM

"Sibling" is Old English, and even less of an Americanism than "mortician" - though unlike that last, it is a very useful word.

In fact the term that tends to be used in the UK these days is neither "undertaker" nor "mortician", it's "funeral director". At least it is self-explanatory and unambiguous. I prefer "undertaker" but I suppose with most people being burnt rather than buried these days, the blackly humorous pun isn't as relevant as it used to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM

These changes have rather spoiled the effect of my favourite back-of-lorry[truck] sign that I saw many years ago: "OVERTAKER - BEWARE OF UNDERTAKER".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:23 PM

Can't get more American than:

Lord, I told the undertaker,
"Undertaker, please drive slow;
For this body you are hauling,
Lord, I hate to see her go"


Somehow wouldn't work with "mortician", even apart from not scanning. Or "funeral director" for that matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:29 PM

MEtheGM, It has certainly come into the mainstream mostly newspapers I haven`t heard anyone on the street asking after the siblings, unheard of a few years back.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Alice
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:32 PM

how are the siblings?

Ha, that's funny. I don't think ANYONE uses the word in that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:43 PM

Well, you wouldn't say 'How's the spouse?' unless you were being facetious - but still a useful word


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM

I think that (in the US, at least), 'sibling' is more likely to be used as an adjective rather than a noun - such as 'sibling rivalry'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:49 PM

I remember answering the 'phone when I was a mentally challenged kid (OK, I still am m c):

"Hello! Funeral Services- we undertake to take you under."

Ebbie, I deplore some of the usages, but we are stuck with them, once they become part of media-speak.
(the media also can shift pronunciations- e. g., covert has changed from kuv-ert to co-vert).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 03:13 PM

Q, I still answer the phone from time to time with "St. James Infermery - you stab 'em, we'll slab 'em".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Rowan
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:10 PM

The invasion of "elevator" is diminishing the currency of an old joke in Oz.

Bloke from Beyond the Black Stump (I occasionally name Tibooburra if I'm trying to convince) has to go to The Big Smoke (Sydney) for the first time in his long life to sort out an insurance problem at the company's head office.

He finds the building and, like all such places, it has a huge forecourt with a wall of glass facing him. Set into the bottom of the glass wall is a set of doors, each with a sign "PUSH", so he pushes one and it opens so he goes through. Just inside, there is another glass wall with a set of doors, each with the sign "PULL" so he pulls at one and it opens so he goes through. Inside, there is a large space with its ceiling about 4 stories up and, opposite him, a huge wall of decorative marble. At the bottom of the wall is another set of doors, each with the sign "LIFT" and he's there for ages, struggling to get one open.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 01:52 AM

Is turnabout fair play? The Britishism Invasion, Language corruption is a two-way street (By Ben Yagoda in Slate.com)

"...language historian Dennis Baron pointed out recently that Brits have been whining about "Americanisms" at least since 1781, when John Witherspoon coined the term. So it may shock you to learn that British words and expressions have, of late, been worming their way into the American lexicon as much as the other way around. "

Check the graphs...

He's got a blog, Not One-Off Britishisms, and posts this excerpt:

"Advert (instead of advertisement or ad), bespoke, bits (instead of parts), brilliant, called (instead of named), chat show, chat up, cheers, a coffee, cookery, DIY, early days, fishmonger, full stop (instead of period, as in the punctuation mark), ginger (a red-haired person), gobsmacked, had got (instead of gotten), Hoover (as a verb), in future, keen on, kerfuffle, mobile (as in mobile phone), on holiday, one-off, posh, presenter (a television host), queue, sell-by date, shite, short-listed, snog (passionately kiss), sort out, spot on, starter (instead of appetizer), straight away, take a decision, top up, twee, wait for it, wanker, and whilst."

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 06:59 AM

One of my favourite US Science Fiction writers recently entitled one of his blog posts, "Well Whinge!" - which I thought was brilliant!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 02:08 PM

It doesn't much worry me if citizens of the USA have typewriters without a letter u, or the letter s, having to content themselves with a bare o in colour, and a z in all words ending in -ise.

I wish however that they would remember a few important facts:-

No atom ever had a "Nuculus", it is a Nu-cleus.
Hence, there is no Nucular Energy, no Nucular Bomb, no Nucular Treaty, and No Nucular Family.

Without exception, they are "Nuclear", pronounced "New Clear"

This would not bother me at all, were it confined to the USA, but even our bloody newsreaders are doing it on the BBC, once the home of correct pronunciation.

GGGGRRRRR!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 02:29 PM

"Nucular" is not correct and I don't say it myself, but not everybody has had the chance to learn about the nucleus and nuclear reactions.

Meanwhile, people get along as best they can using the language they already know. And that language includes words such as:

particular
spectacular
funicular
orbicular
and perhaps more,

and these words serve to make "nucular" more natural than "nuclear."

I can't even think of another word anything like "nuclear."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 02:38 PM

But that's just a reaction.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 02:52 PM

February.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 03:01 PM

Nucule- a small, seed-like fruit, a nutlet. Adj. nucular.

Doesn't grow up to be a mushroom-like cloud, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 03:05 PM

Doesn't Febuary follow January?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 04:35 PM

No ~ Febuary follows Janruary'


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 04:48 PM

That old song, "Shine on, harvest moon," just doesn't sound right if you sing January, FebRuary, June or July.
But the original score read "Since April, January, June or July," avoiding the problem.
Google tells me Ruth Etting was responsible for the February in the line.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 04:58 PM

Febuary follows Janruary, and then Mach goes by really fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 08:07 PM

Who's on first!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dave Swan
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 01:29 AM

Jeri, go to your room.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 08:08 AM

Parents in UK telling their naughty offspring that they are grounded as punishment. I was sent to my room when I was small.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 08:21 AM

"Grounded' surely not same as 'sent to room'. 'Grounded' = not allowed to go out for certain number of days, innit?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 01:40 PM

I don't know what to say, as I have just re-read the entire thread, and my brain is saying "uncle!"

(Is that an Americanism?)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dazbo
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 04:08 PM

Do Americans use twice? I only ask as phrases such as "Seven Time winner of the Tour de France" are creeping into UK usage and really annoy me (surely it should be seven times winner...) but to say "two time winner of..." beggars belief when "twice winner of..." says it all. Mind you I'd find it odd to hear "thrice winner..." but it would make my day. (Once, twice, thrice a lady anyone?)

I'm glad it seems to be a two way street. Are some of the Britishisms appearing in the USA due to the Harry Potter books (e.g. snog) or where they all translated out in the US editions?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 05:10 PM

U.S.
Grounded with respect to keeping kids confined is an extension of the application of the electrical term, electrically in contact with the ground (1884). "Earthed" is an older term for electrically grounded, but I haven't heard it within memory (seen in books).

Two time, seven time, etc., could be newspaper writers' coinage (always striving for emphasis and/or simplification, not always successfully); in speech twice or seven times are still commonly heard.

I think we all tend to pick up usages we hear on the TV or read in the paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 07:05 AM

Reviving an old thread with a new example ~~ The Times the other day mentioned a game called "women's field hockey".

We don't have 'field hockey' in this country: we have hockey or ice-hockey. It is American usage to give priority of meaning to the latter and therefore to have to add the [to our ears] otiose modifier "field" to the real game. A Noel Coward character remarks to an American visitor who mentions "horse riding" ~ "We just say 'riding'. The horse is taken for granted." Similarly, hockey-wise, here in UK the field should be taken for granted.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 11:14 AM

I thought grounded was air force, as of someone breaking rules - like doing a victory roll before landing. Or commercial pilots if caught drinking. Or the plane itself, if iffy.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 12:08 PM

Hockey is the name of the sport at the Olympics; introduced 1908 but permanently added to Summer games in 1924 (FIH, founded in Paris in 1924, now(?) 127 members). Much of its formation can be credited to English "public" schools.

Ice hockey was introduced to the Olympics in 1920 and became part of the Winter program in 1924 (IIHF, founded Paris 1908 as LIHG, now 52 members).
The need to separate the games with modifiers has grown since that time, especially in those countries strongly supportive of the game on ice (Russia, U. S., Canada, etc.) where "hockey" is understood by most people to mean ice hockey.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:38 PM

Agreed, Q. The Americans feel it necessary to modify it with a 'field' to distinguish it from the there predominating 'ice' sort. But it is therefore, as I aver, an Americanism, superfluous in our leading daily paper

~~ the point I made in starting this thread, and have been making thruout it ~~

i.e. that there is nothing wrong with any of these usages where they belong ~ over there ~ but are grey squirrels to our red squirrels when they start to replace &/or render obsolete our own usages.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: meself
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:42 PM

"surely it should be seven times winner..."

I suspect that the "seven-time winner" usage could be justified; in fact, I suspect I could do it myself if I had a couple of hours to nose through Fowler and wrack my brains over the matter - but I don't today. Anyone who missed it the first time through care to weigh in?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 04:44 PM

If the British public wants gray [sic] squirrels, the gray squirrels will proliferate.

I like red squirrels as much as the next dude [sic], but we're talking [sic] linguistic Darwinism here.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 05:11 PM

Ice Hockey, the Canadian Game, not American.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 06:24 PM

But, since it's about linguistics, the squirrels have changed from gray to grey since they came here, and are extremely unlikely to change back.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 08:31 PM

Grey squirrel in Canada (mostly the black phase in southern Ontario); gray squirrel across the border in the States.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 08:57 PM

Canadian squirrels are bilingual -- grey or gray, they answer to either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:26 PM

I think to a large degree the original examples and the premise of the thread are kind of bogus.

School Yard, vs Playgound? Where I grew up the school grounds were not fenced in. There was a parking area, the kids played where there were no cars parked and between the primary and elementary school buildings. The playground was a mile away in the park, next to the soft ball field.

And much as we were proud of our Imperial British heritage, we called the School Grounds, the school grounds and the playground the playgound.

Like wise, girls used to skip and they used to jump rope. There were ways to jump rope without skipping. They certainly would skip without a rope. Skipping with a rope was called skipping rope, often shortened to "skipping."

"Out of bounds" and "Off Limits" do not mean exactly the same thing. Americans are very familiar with the term "Out of Bounds" from football meaning not within the field of play. "Off Limits" is something posted on military installations meaning "authorized personnel only" Since both are used as metaphors and neither are particularly American or British aren't both fairly used?

The English speaking community is connected world wide in media and travel. The users of the language an the influencers are no longer exclusively on a couple of tiny islands. The main influencers are the purveyors of the largest media. Michael Bey, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Peter Jackson even non English speakers like Ang Lee.

I'm for the best, most accurate word for the audience. The problem for the English is that the language is not exclusively theirs any more and because they did not do what the French did, they have lost all control.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: harmonic miner
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:14 AM

For some reason, people in Ireland havs started saying 'standing in line' instead of 'queueing'. Yet they still call it a queue intead of a line. And 'DEfault' instead of 'deFAULT'


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:04 PM

"Standing in line' somehow doesn't seem to quite equate to 'queueing'. It sound more subservient.

If you're in a queue you are waiting your turn for somethig to whic you are entited, such as service. Standing in line sounds more like hoping for a favour of some kind.

There's a kind of dignity in a decent queue.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM

"Standing in line sounds more like hoping for a favour of some kind."

I would have thought it was a physical description of what you are doing without moral or psychological weight.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 08:41 PM

Standing on the corner, watching all the girls go by....


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:22 PM

In NYC it's notoriously "standing *on* line." Just as you don't "bump" into things or people, you "bunk" into them.

Take it or leave it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:27 PM

forgedabouwdid


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 05:33 AM

A letter about transport in this morning's Times ends ~~ "WE ALREADY HAVE A SYSTEM OF UP TO 100 TRUCKS WHICH USE FAR LESS FUEL, CAN TRAVEL faster when appropriate carrying far more, and don't conflict with other traffic. They are called freight trains." ignore those caps please

They used to be called goods trains, didn't they? Did this particular grey squirrel slip in before the influence of Elizabeth Cotten via Nancy Whiskey & the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, or were they responsible as I suspect?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:17 AM

""(Once, twice, thrice a lady anyone?)""

Or in modern USAian: Once, two time, three timer lady!

Promiscuous or what?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:07 AM

Talk about a tempest in a tea pot! Is this National Pedants day?
Does anyone outside Maine use the word or phrase, "Door yard" or "Dooryard"?
My very British wife, English, actually, has some quaint words and phrases, such as, "The back garden". Here,. a garden is a plot of land that is used for growing vegetables. We call it the lawn. Ours is 3/4 of an acre. In England, the garden is a patch of land that can be mowed with scissors!

She has her own way of saying things that amuse me, and I don't want her to "Go native". "She flounced right by me into the bathroom so I couldn't have another go at her"! That broke me up! Sometimes when I write something on the computer, I intentionally stick a "U" in color,or humor just to irritate spell check.

Anyway, Not to put too fine a point on it,American English can use a bit of class from the Mother country, but as long as we can communicate, that's what is important.

Everything evolves, even language. That's not always a good thing.

Is it true that Charles DeGaul insisted that they create a French word for television? I'd hate to have his nerve in a tooth.He planted his ass in England through the war among his allies, then when the war was won, he returned to France like Caesar as if he had won the war single highhandedly.

Anyway, I say, Viva le difference. Let's just stop abusing the language by, for instance, making an adjective (Important) into an adverb, (Importantly).
TV people drive me batty by pronouncing particularly with only 4 syllables, and that fat head on Pawn Stars who still doesn't know the difference between Cavalry, and Calvary.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:45 AM

Cor blimey Kendall, strike a light Guv, you must have really strong feelings on the subject - that's the longest post from you I've ever read! And I agree, language evolves, and it's hardly surprising, in view of the huge volume of US TV programmes on UK TV, that we've picked up many of your words and sayings. Hell, I even heard a kid in the street the other day declare that, "so-and-so sucks", which is an expression Brits of my generation would never use. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM

I find the word 'lorry' to be hopelessly outdated nowadays. It seems one must say 'truck'. No-one is a 'lorry driver', but a 'truck driver'. Kendall, any size of land around a house here in UK is 'the garden' My last one was half an acre and needed a ride-on mower to cut the lawn. Our present one is the size of a hanky, but is also 'the garden', presumably because one gardens in it! I believe Americans use the word 'yard' more than we do. A yard here is more usually a piece of hard standing where a bit of work goes on, eg car repairs or storage of outdoor stuff such as logs or piles of bricks. A yard isn't the garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:04 AM

I've just thought of something else, the word 'queue'. I've heard Brits using 'line' instead. I personally queue at the checkout to pay, I don't join the line. Do Americans 'queue'? Are there long 'queues' of traffic during rush-hour, or long 'lines' over there?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:19 AM

A yard is 36 inches.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:44 AM

Kendall:
Does anyone outside Maine use the word or phrase, "Door yard" or "Dooryard"?

Ray Bradbury (Late of L.A./born Illinois) "When elephants last in the dooryard bloomed"

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:41 AM

>Let's just stop abusing the language by, for instance, making an adjective (Important) into an adverb, (Importantly).

How is that "abusing the language"? Please explain. What about nouns (default) that double as verbs (default).

(BTW, I haven't heard anybody who says "DEfense" say "DEfault." Yet.)

Many Americans have never even heard of a "queue" or of "queuing." Those of of who have are likely to think of "queueing" as the more "subservient" action. Perhaps it seems to imply to us "falling in line" rather than making (or should I say "taking"?) the tough decision to get yourself over there.

We usually "line up" or "get in/on line." Only then do we "stand" there.

To one who grew up saying "get/stand *on* line" (see an earlier post) "*in* line" sounds a little wimpy and subservient, because idiomatically when people "get in line for something" they dissolve themselves into a faceless group.

Not that any of it makes consistent sense or can be expected to. Language isn't logical. It's psychological.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:18 AM

Eliza...most Americans don't queue. They just 'get in line'. Queue is familiar to many, it's just not a common usage in 'most' places. Perhaps it is avoided becaue it sounds like 'cue' which has a couple of very different other meanings....*shrug*.. or maybe because no one wants to remember how to spell it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 01:07 PM

I remember a music teacher (grade school) who taught us how to sing songs from England.
If a word starts with a vowel, put an "h" in front, and "a" is pronounced "i".
Bellamy singing "Mandalay" solo (youtube) is an example that bears out her advice.

The two languages are getting closer together; television works both ways, with British dramas and BBCNews and BBCAmerica seen over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 01:54 PM

We think it quaint that you pronounce Quay as Key.

Importantly is silly and unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 02:24 PM

Atlantic Monthly, 1945:

"But it is based more importantly upon the thesis that world organization for peace can work only if an authoritative agency is established, [etc.]."

Sounds fine to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:24 PM

But, what's more important,...sounds finer to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:38 PM

Maybe, Kendall; but it is an adjective in apposition, and you err in callling it an adverb. The fact is that, even if you fiond the second uneuphonious [fort some obscure reason of your own, 'important' is an adjective whose derived adverb is 'importantly'.

"This is a very interesting discovery," he announced importantly.

You couldn't say "He announced important", could you; because it isn't an adverb for all your saying. And if, as you would seem likely to suggest, you would substitute, "He said in an important manner", you would simply have substituted an adverbial phrase using the adjective, which would strike me as otiose use of superfluous words.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:08 PM

Quay is pronounced "key" according to the Oxford English Dictionary
(Ki with a mark above the i, which I haven't checked in html).

Merriam Webster's allows kwa (a as in cane) as a third choice, cay in 2nd place, Ke in first.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:16 PM

What ever.

How is my spelling?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:14 PM

Eliza, I am shocked. In England "checkout" (meaning a place at which to pay for goods) should surely be termed a "till". The adjacent serving area is a "counter".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:42 PM

Every one of us Yanks knows that a "till" is a cash drawer or cash box, including the drawer in a cash register.

BTW, the English "garden" is indeed called a "yard" here (it would only be a "garden" if vegetables or flowers were being cultivated).

But we also have industrial "ship yards" and "rail yards" and "brick yards."

And "the whole nine yards."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Airymouse
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:21 PM

I am completely unqualified to post on this subject, because for me half the mystery in British mysteries is figuring out what the characters say. But here are a few random comments: PRESENTLY "Now I am a sensible man, by and by a fool and presently a beast" Clearly "presently" does not mean "now." GOT If you prefer "got" to "gotten" how would you like "his only begot son", "moon for the misbegot" or "While I pondered weak and weary over some ... of forgot lore"? AMERICANS can't pronounce foreign names: We can't even pronounce our own names. Just listen to a newsman talk about Norfolk VA or Appalachian mountains. My theory is the news presenter(?) is afraid that the correct pronunciation of "Norfolk" will get bleeped by the censors and that he wants to pronounce "Appalachian" as if it came from Latin (with a long A as in data, status, ignoramus, caveat etc.) Accented syllables: We Americans have a terrible time with this issue. We say de spic* able for des* picable, vague* aries for va garies*, fort A* for forte and then there's the pesky bit where the stress changes with the use e.g., the fre*quent visitor fre quents* the bar or the cabbage re tails* for 50 cents a head, so that its re* tail* value is ... Finally, we in Amereicnsa are losing nice distinctions in pronunciations: The POOR man POURED a cup of coffee as he PORED over the want ads; will MERRY MARY MARRY?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 01:18 AM

"Presently" originally meant 'now' over here also. Then its meaning drifted to mean 'soon'. My impression is that it has recently [or even presently] reverted to the original meaning; possibly due to US influence.

We too have always made the distinction by shifting enphasis between adjective & verb usages of words like frequent, absent accent &c.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:49 AM

A checkout is the place where the till (or cash register) is. But a till needn't be present and a till doesn't need to be at a checkout.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:36 AM

The OED shows both meanings of "presently" arising around 1400, along with the "now rare" sense of "without delay; at once." For some unexplained reason the meaning "now" was "avoided in literary use between the 17th and 20th centuries" and is considered "by some [sic] usage writers" today as "erroneous."

Go figure.

> we in Amereicnsa are losing nice distinctions in pronunciations: The POOR man POURED a cup of coffee as he PORED over the want ads; will MERRY MARY MARRY?

Not everybody ever had all those distinctions. Do you distinguish "horse" and "hoarse"? (Some Americans do.) Then there's "which" and "witch."

Go figure.

For northerners, the Appalachians have an "a" as in "date." For southerners, an "a" as in "hat."

Go figure.

You may be right about "Norfolk," but "Norfik/ Nawfik" were the only versions I ever heard up until the '90s. (Never lived there either.)

Long ago I knew a disgruntled ex-sailor who said that when conditions warranted the city was often called "Nor-fuck," with emphasis. (There was a less subtle name as well.) Maybe "Nor-foke" is being promoted to
undermine that feature. (Not that it will make any difference.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: sciencegeek
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 09:58 AM

The two languages are getting closer together; television works both ways, with British dramas and BBCNews and BBCAmerica seen over here.

LOL England & America.. two countries separated by a "common" language. It does sound like something Shaw would have said.

Every living language undergoes change. Slang and jargon get added in and over the course of time become generally accepted. Or do you really want the Queen's ( or King's ) English to join the ranks of a dead language? Not gonna happen of course, but one should be careful about what they wish for.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 10:35 AM

I used to call a till a cash register. And to me a counter is static, whereas in a supermarket there's a conveyor belt. I fairly recently came across a delightful American couple in Kensington Gardens. They were considering a visit to Kensington Palace, and I said it was most interesting but they may have to queue. This seemed to throw them and they asked what I meant, so I assumed it's a word not often used in USA. I actually love it when language evolves and new, sometimes startling expressions come into use, often by the young. I particularly like Multicultural London English, as spoken by Lee Nelson and Ali G. Wicked! Qualiteee!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM

'Checkout' is certainly not the same as 'till'. All shops used to have a till, aka a cash register, to keep the money in & get the change from. But the 'checkout' consists only partly of a till, but with the addition of a belt on which one places one's purchases from one's trolley, which are then scanned by the operator & a total sum for payment reported to the customer -- who then, unless paying by credit card, hands over the money, which is put into the till, which is a part, but only a part, of the total apparatus involved.

The whole of the area concerned -- the aisle thru which one passes to place one's purchases on the belt prior to paying one's money to be put into the till, is subsumed under the designation 'checkout'. Probably originally an American word, because the supermarket system of self-service & checking out originated there. But a very useful & comprehensive term it is indeed.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 12:52 PM

" PRESENTLY "Now I am a sensible man, by and by a fool and presently a beast" Clearly "presently" does not mean "now." GOT If you prefer "got" to "gotten" how would you like "his only begot son","

It's not quite right to suggest these are differences between British and American though. In Scotland 'presently' did and still does mean at the present time and also 'gotten' is used. The COD confirms the use of 'presently' in Scotland but fails to mention the use of 'gotten' here.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: sciencegeek
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 12:58 PM

Back in the day.... gak choke LOL, sorry couldn't resist...

well, anyhow, an aside about when cash registers first came into common use.

During the transaction, the till drawer opened and the little bell chimed to let the owner/staff know that the cash drawer was open - detering those whose who would try to steal from the register when it was "unguarded". However, not all employees were trustworthy either, pocketing cash from customers and then not putting it in the till. So along comes the pricing system that is with us to this day... the 5 dollar item is now $4.99. And the till must be opened to provide the customer with their change. It also sounds cheaper... that psychological factor beloved by salespeople the world over.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 01:28 PM

M, you don't need the conveyor belt. Not all "check-outs" have them.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 02:43 PM

Change is inevitable. resistance to change is also inevitable.

The Dinosaurs died out because they could not cope with changes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:45 PM

In one grocery supermarket chain here, each item is bar-coded; one shows the barcode to a wand or window, and the amounts are recorded and totalled. Do your own packing. Then you pay with credit card to the "cashier", who handles no cash.

They also have the old-fashioned conveyor belts and a real cashier for the luddites.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Airymouse
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 06:06 PM

Of course, someone living near Norfolk Virginia or the Appalachian mountains is more likely to use the correct pronunciation, than someone living elsewhere. Similarly, we in Virginia are likely to have difficulty with "Spokane" or "Nevada". But it's not a North-South issue. If you put on a production of Richard the Third and you start talking about the Duke of "Nor folk", I think your audience, English or American, will not be happy. Also New Yorkers don't seem to have any trouble with "Suffolk County Long Island". As for using a long A in "Appalachian", nobody seems to want to do that with "Apalachicola Florida" or with the "Apalachee" Indians for that matter. As someone has pointed out, it is curious that there is a long history to defend two nearly opposite meanings of "presently". I think this is true of "cleave", but if you go back far enough, the two opposite meanings of "cleave" came from two different words.
P.S. I've noticed that the British do use "do" differently from us.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:04 PM

Do we?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:17 PM

Re that old Madonna number Hanky Panky ("Nothing like a good spanky!"), & the lines "All I want is the back of your hand Somewhere on my behind". It occurs to me that, to us, 'the back of the hand' means the knuckle side, which might sometimes be used aggressively across the face but it would be difficult to administer in a spanking on the buttocks, and what she must have meant was what we would call "The flat of the your hand", ie the palm side.

So have I got it right that Americans think of the hand the opposite way around from us ie, with its 'back' on the opposite side?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 12:13 AM

So have I got it right that Americans think of the hand the opposite way around from us ie, with its 'back' on the opposite side?

No, it's the same side.

Americans are just masters at slapping asses. The variations in the way we that slap asses is like a language in itself, which foreigners can only learn under the great risk of their identity dissolving into vapor, or that pink stuff Chicken McNuggets are made from.

One fine day, perhaps, Britons will learn to slap asses in the back-handed way. They'll dub it "The American way," just to be clear. Part of the population will rush to do it that way just because it is the American way. The trend will spread from Liverpool, whose fake-tanned population will embrace it with a will, while Southern urbanites will disparage it. But it will finally spread to the communities outside London, and even the old country geezers will take notice. News outlets will deem it a "chav" thing, and others will use its example rhetorically to express their on-going bitterness (or, "butthurtness," in America-speak) over the fact that American ways have spread in the world, and Chinese students are not putting a "u" in the word "color."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 05:36 AM

Re the Madonna thing. A bit of a sidestep but I've never understood the lyric in Sting's "An Englishman In New York" that is the bit that says "I don't like coffee, I take tea my dear, I like my toast done on one side".

I don't know anyone who has their toast done like that and had never heard the idea prior to hearing this song. Is it something peculiar to parts of England, to parts of English society, is it just something US folk think English people do, or is it just a daft lyric?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: mayomick
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 08:32 AM

"that old Madonna number Hanky Panky" The use of "number" in that particular way - from which country does it come, MgM ?

I don't think the problem that most people have is with Americanisms (or Britishisms). It's the fact that you so often first comes across the new words or phrases when speaking to followers of naff TV shows and ads that bothers most people. Guardian readers resent hearing buzzwords that they suspect must have originated with somebody like Ruby Wax - especially when they know that they will have to use such words sooner or later to make themselves understood in the modern world. I'm sure many Americans must fear that the use of British English would make them sound pretentious .


Here are some words and phrases from wiki's entry on the American lexicon:

strike it rich. The word blizzard probably originated in the West. A couple of notable late 18th century additions are the verb belittle and the noun bid, both first used in writing by Thomas Jefferson.

caucus, gerrymander, filibuster,exit poll).

commuter (from commutation ticket), concourse, to board (a vehicle), to park, double-park and parallel park (a car), double decker or the noun terminal
breakeven, merger, delisting, downsize, disintermediation, bottom line;
hobo, bouncer, bellhop, roustabout, white collar, blue collar, employee, boss [from Dutch], intern,busboy, mortician, senior citizen), businesses and workplaces (department store, supermarket, thrift store, gift shop, drugstore,motel, main street, gas station, hardware store, savings and loan, hock [also from Dutch]), as well as general concepts and innovations (automated teller machine, smart card, cash register, dishwasher, reservation [as at hotels], pay envelope, movie, mileage, shortage, outage, blood bank

, disc jockey, boost, bulldoze and jazz, originated as American slang. Among the many English idioms of U.S. origin are get the hang of, bark up the wrong tree, keep tabs, run scared, take a backseat, have an edge over, stake a claim, take a shine to, in on the ground floor, bite off more than one can chew, off/on the wagon, stay put, inside track, stiff upper lip, bad hair day, throw a monkey wrench, under the weather, jump bail, come clean, come again?, it ain't over till it's over, what goes around comes around, and will the real x please stand


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 08:36 AM

We don't have monkey wrenches; they are still spanners, I think, & a spanner is what we throw into the works to disrupt processes.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 09:21 AM

Since the Appalachians extend into Canada, the "correct" pronunciation is entirely moot.

Older New Yorkers usually don't enunciate the "r" in "New York." Younger ones do. Which is "correct"?

(If you say "the one that matches the spelling," you'll be stuck with "Nor-folk" - with an "L.")

My larger point is, "Go figure." (A relatively recent Americanism, useful and concise, if a bit tart for some tastes.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 12:32 PM

Allan Conn - breakfast at my Gran's back in the '50s and '60s (Lincolnshire, UK) always included toast made on a toasting fork over the kitchen fire and toasted one side only. We called it "French Toast", although strictly speaking it wasn't.

MtheGM - when I was an engineering apprentice, a spanner was a tool with non-adjusting jaws at one or both ends, whereas a monkey wrench (a.k.a. Adjustable Wrench) had jaws at one end only which can be opened or closed gradually by rotating a threaded wheel. So no, we don't call a monkey wrench a spanner - we call a spanner a spanner and a monkey wrench a monkey (or adjustable) wrench.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 01:47 PM

Ah, thank you BWM. Always happy to learn something new. Now I shall know the distinction.

However, would you not agree that "throwing a spanner in the works" is the usual English expression for doing something deliberately to prevent or sabotage some sort of ongoing activity?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 01:54 PM

Sensibly enough, the monkey wrench was once called an "adjustable spanner."

Or "spanner" for short.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: kendall
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM

MtheGM, yes, unless you are Dutch. Then you would throw a "Sabot" into the works. (Wooden shoe). Hence, the word Sabotage.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 02:39 PM

Kendall:
Surely that was French, not Dutch.

If a Dutchman threw his shoe it would just clog-up the machinery :)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 03:10 PM

Interesting about the toasting fork! We call bread fried in egg "French toast"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 03:33 PM

The 'French toast' usage for bread fork-toasted on one side only, often is done this way because the bread is already buttered but has remained uneaten - a way of avoiding waste. My mother certainly called this 'French toast'. However, the bread fried in egg is certainly what Americans mean by 'French toast'; it figures largely in one scene of Thornton Wilder's moving play about American family life & community, "Our Town" (1938).

I'll bet anyone plenty of 6 to 5 that the French lay no claim to either comestible!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 05:00 PM

Interestingly enough, the OED dates yummy "French toast" recipes to the 17th century.

The "toasted on the dry side" version seems to come only from the 1920s.

It makes me wonder if the one-sided toast was named because that was about the only way you could make toast in a trench on the Western Front, with a knife or bayonet for a toasting-fork. (Assuming you had bread, which was something of a luxury in a forward area.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: JennieG
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 05:42 PM

I for one quite like the variety in our current language - makes for a richer lexicon! Trying to keep just one style (i.e. 'Proper English') contained within the borders of one country is akin to pulling up the drawbridge and letting no one in......or out.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 07:28 PM

Soaking stale bread in milk, cooking and then sweetening, is as old as Rome (Pan dulcis)

When egg was added is uncertain, but cookbooks from the Middle Ages give the recipe for French Toast with egg.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 10:55 PM

"We call bread fried in egg "French toast"

That's "Eggy-Bread" in these here parts of the Backwoods.

French Toast, I was informed by a chef I used to know, is a thick slice of bread toasted both sides, then split into two pieces of half the thickness so that one side is toasted and the other side is un-toasted. Which seems a complicated way of achieving what we achieved by the simple expedient of toasting thinner bread on one side only!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 02:40 AM

French Toast, I was informed by a chef I used to know, is a thick slice of bread toasted both sides, then split into two pieces of half the thickness so that one side is toasted and the other side is un-toasted.

Where I come from, that's called Polish Toast.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 04:05 AM

There ya go!

I'm fascinated by this kind of stuff, love it! It's the differences between us that make the world such a great place!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 06:41 AM

If you can't have marriage sunny side up try divorce over easy!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 09:58 AM

Like in "Polish jokes"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 10:00 PM

Like in "Polish jokes"?

Yes. I've actually never heard of making toast like that (was making a joke), but I'm quite sure that if it existed, we'd call it Polish toast.

As inappropriate (bigoted) as it is, the word "Polish" has been used in my area to label something as generally "backwards" or nonsensical. Or when there is some kind of clusterf#ck situation.

You can apply the adjective "Polish" to many things. I remember a notable occasion when my sister and I had spent some time in New Jersey. We complaint about typical, though innocuous, things that would confuse/irritate outsiders. For example, the fact that you cannot pump your own gas there, or strange aspects of the roads, like "jug-handles" (which require that you take a right in order to make a left). When we finally left New Jersey, my sister said, "Yes! We're finally out of this Polish state." It was funny and, yes, you had to be there.

I am well aware that this doesn't "excuse" bigoted terms, but: I have people of Polish descent in my family, and I have worked amongst Polish people (Polish-Americans) who just laugh at the usage.

"French" as a modifier, on the other hand, stereotypically conveys either something "dirty" or something done without proper "manners."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 12:47 AM

Yes; I remember first hearing that US-ers use 'Polish' as we [reprehensibly] use 'Irish' in this way, from Heather Woods, ex-Young·Tradition, who has lived in NY for years but was on a visit over here. Likewise they tell Polish jokes as we tell Irish jokes. Her example, which will approx date this telling, was --

A man was found dead at the bottom of the Grand Canyon wearing roller-skates. The police were baffled till they found that his name was Evel Kowalski.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 01:51 AM

In the UK, we don't have the same derogatory connotations attached to the term "Polish" as you apparently do, so the rather weak joke was completely wasted on me.

"French" can have those connotations, but also, especially with reference to the culinary arts, it can be used as an indicator of "excellence" or "uniqueness".


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 02:09 AM

"Polish jokes" mostly went in and out of fashion in the 1980s, if I remember correctly - though they certainly live on among some people who thrived then, I guess.

I would not generalize the use of "Polish" as a modifier to all of the USA. Although it's certainly hard to tell - due to the cringe-worthy nature of the usage stifling its usage in public! - it is most characteristic of the working-class Northeast. Well, perhaps in the Midwest, too. I wouldn't know. It's gotta be somewhere where there are actually Polish people! I grew up not far from New Britain, Connecticut, which is one of the Polish Diaspora centers of the US. Once a week we ate kielbasa, and any community meals usually included pierogie, kluski (sp?) and gawumpki (sp?!). But out here in California, few people are aware of such things. Even to use the "kielbasa" elicits blank stares. So to say "Polish" in any off-color fashion would brand you as a bigot.

Of course, Californians have "Mexican" as their go-to ethnic/national term (though it does not equate with Polish). "Mexican standoff" is perhaps one similar concept. A more accurate equivalence: What we call a "Puerto Rican shower" in the Northeast US is a "Mexican shower" in the West, I believe.

I grew up calling fingerless gloves (the kind you wear outdoors to keep your hands warm, while retaining the ability to do fine work) as "Polish burglar gloves." Yep. Hardy-har-har. But I don't think it was about trying to be clever/funny, since the "joke" was too old and conventional. I get the feeling that such usages are more about affirming social class. That is, the "upper" classes, bereft as they are from Poles, etc., would be worried about the reaction from saying such things, whereas the working class folks (among whom you'd invariably know and interact with some Poles, etc etc) "don't care."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:14 AM

The "toasted on the dry side" version seems to come only from the 1920s.

In the '30s, in my Grandparents' house where I lived, we did not have a toaster. My grandmother would make toast under the broiler of the oven, one-sided. But not toasted "on the dry side", and not as a means of avoiding wastage of already-buttered bread.

Instead, the procedure was to butter the pieces of bread and then
toast them in the broiler, buttered side up. The resultant toast was spotty, sort of like a palomino horse.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:41 AM

"Polish jokes" became a fad in the Chicago-Milwaukee area around 1965.

They were so common that there was an "Official Polish Joke Book" published in 1966.

Whatever the ultimate source (Germans have been blamed), the American "Era of the Polish Joke," when everyone seemed to be telling them, ended (in my experience) about ten years later.

They're still heard but not very often. There are probably some "tradition bearers" who know dozens of them and will tell them at the drop of a hat.

Before the "Polish joke" fad was the "elephant joke" fad of about 1962. There was also a fad for "dead baby jokes" around 1970.

The people I knew who told Polish (or, as they were usually called outside of the media, "Polack") jokes seemed to have absolutely nothing against real Poles. It was just a rhetorical convention.

Which isn't to say that real Poles weren't justifiably irritated.

Fun facts: Though "Polack" is now derogatory in English, it's just the English pronunciation of the ordinary Polish word. It's even in dignified use in Hamlet, whose father "smote the sledded Polacks on the ice."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 11:16 AM

Small>In the UK, we don't have the same derogatory connotations attached to the term "Polish" as you apparently do, so the rather weak joke was completely wasted on me.

.,,.

As who do, BWM? I [based here in UK as you know] was quoting an American joke, admittedly 'feeble' as such jokes are [part of their point], told me for folkloric interest, as an exemplar of a variant from our then current 'Irish' ones, by an expatriate British friend living in USA. So not quite clear to me whom you were addressing in such dismissive tones, or to what precise effect.

Best

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 11:56 AM

He was addressing me, Michael, and my "Polish toast" quip. And I took no offense.

Incidentally (moving things along in other directions), I took Backwoodsman for a North American - because I have difficulty imagining any "backwoods" in the UK! Does it exist? I (naive) impression is that no patch of woods is far enough from another town (and another pub) to really constitute it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 01:19 PM

Thanks, GS - no offence was intended!

You're right about the 'backwoods' reference - I live in the county of Lincolnshire which, by UK standards, is relatively sparsely populated and is largely devoted to agriculture. I adopted the name when a female member (now deceased), known for her vitriolic style of posting, referred to me and a group of fellow Lincolnshire men as 'backwoodsmen' in one of her even-more-than-usually hysterical outbursts. :-)

Michael, I usually hold you and your contributions in high regard. Why on Earth would I be deliberately offensive towards you? Chill man! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:50 PM

Some in the US are perfectly capable of saying "I am presently busy weeding my garden, but I will meet you at the store presently... with seemingly no awareness of the dichotomy.

Go figger'...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 03:01 AM

I was always amazed at how the likes of Norwich could be described as 'in the sticks' and the Ipswich football team are called "the tractor boys" when these places are massive in comparison to towns in my area. I suppose it is all relative. To folks in London I suppose Norwich is a wee place. And like BWM says the counties as a whole have a lot of agricultural. There are some pretty secluded places in Britain though especially in the northern half of Scotland where you can be quite a way from the nearest town of any size or pub.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:27 AM

French fries? no connection to France. They were developed in Belgium.

Polish jokes? as I understand it, they were created by the Poles themselves as a mild protest for the butchery of the Polish intelligentsia by the Russians.
Remember, Copernicus was a Pole.Hardly a dolt.

Now, what have the Australians done to the English language?

How about Jamaica?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:58 AM

How about the US use of "alternate" to mean "alternative" - surely not the same thing at all. To step on alternate steps isn't the same as to step on alternative steps - which latter would mean some other ones, over there, perhaps.

Or what about "momentarily". Does that mean in a moment (US) or for a moment (UK)?
D


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:20 AM

(If it's already been mentioned forgive me, as I'm too lazy to scroll through over 400 posts) but I do so hate the inane and nasal 'Hiyaaa' for 'Hello'. It's everywhere now. Is it American in origin? And 'You guys'. I always think of 'guys' as denoting American men, but it seems unisex now. I'm definitely not a 'guy'; the only time we used that word was on November 5th, and it referred to the dressed-up dummy of Guy Fawkes which we toted round asking, 'Penny for the Guy?'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 03:31 PM

Words like momentarily, and presently and other -ly words seem to be added in speech when the speaker is impatient, or doesn't want to give a full answer. Its purpose is to stop the in(en)quirer from pursuing the question.
They should be used properly (if at all; they are often weasel words)) in written communication.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:22 PM

> created by the Poles themselves as a mild protest for the butchery of the Polish intelligentsia by the Russians.

Surely a Pole in a Polish joke is the only sort of Pole who would think of a Polish joke as pro-Polish.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,ED T
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:35 PM

There are many dead languages, like latin, which are mostly used for laying out draft brochures.

Thjere are many dead-end local languages with little broad influence.

English is a living and evolving language- that is one reason why it has taken hold in a broad way.It is a patchwork, with many influences. The USA has had it's time to influence the Language, with it's past influence in global economics,movies, advertizing and TV. I suspect this influence is waning today, as it was for awhile with England.

So, what's the problem with being a major player in a growing and popular language- beyond being "stuck in the mud"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:55 PM

Ongoing argument as to where this type of fried potato originated, France or Belgium. The early Belgian reference seems to be fictional.

The name French fried first appeared in an English cookbook, 1856.

Thomas Jefferson ate them, whatever the name, in 1802.

Polish jokes remind me of the Ukranian jokes often heard in Alberta a couple of decades ago. Many Ukranians and some Poles settled homesteads in central Alberta, starting in the 1890s but mostly in the 1920s.
Typical joke- How many Ukranians does it take to replace a light bulb?
Twenty-one. One to hold the bulb and 20 to keep turning the house around. I'm sure that this joke is as old as the light bulb.

The Hutterites of Alberta (with their own language at home) are a source of many jokes heard in the province.

I liked one I heard at the Smoky Lake Colony.
The vampires held a convention in Venice. The fish in the canals sang: "Drained wops keep falling on my head."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:04 PM

Q:
If you're going for vampiric songs as parodies, might I suggest the one about the (literary & film) family of 'vegetarian' vampires who move into the television show "Under The Dome" ...

Chester song at Twilight :)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 06:12 PM

In Minnesota, "up on The Range" (the iron range, in far
northern Minnesota) there's a large population of Finns,
(or Finnlanders, as we said in "Minnesotish" in my youth).

For a long time after the passing of the Polish joke fad
the very same jokes were "Finnlander jokes."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 12:36 AM

And sometimes they aren't racially based at all: like blonde jokes, or, esp around these parts, banjo-player jokes.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:47 AM

Sorry to belabor the "Polish" thing - doing a bit of indulging in the "heres what people from my part of the world say" thing. Anyway, what I find interesting (and probably few others do, much less relevant in any way!) is this use of "Polish" more generally - outside of dumb jokes.

The jokes have had their day (for the history of which, thanks Lighter), and as others have pointed out, various stereotypes can fit the same "slot" in those type of jokes. The regional (Northeast US) slang usage I'm talking about has no precise (local) equivalent that I'm aware of. "Polish" means a things is "backwards" not just "dumb" and put together or performed in an illogical way. Say you go to one post office and they have a strange system where you have to wait in line for a long time, etc. Then there is another post office on the other side of town that runs more efficiently. The inefficient one might get dumbed "the Polish post office."

I am also interested in how this on-the-surface very offensive usage manages to survive and, to a degree, thrive. That is, it survives in spaces where something like "Jew post office" or "Black post office" could not.

My aunt is Polish...she hosts a Polish-style Easter and Thanksgiving (!)...and I have heard her construe the Polish "side" of the family in wacky terms. And so therefore is my cousin (part) Polish (and Irish). I lived with that cousin for a year, and we joked often about "Polish" this and that -- low brow humor to be sure (but isn't that the point?), but we had a lot of fun trying to image what the "Polish" version of something might be...it's almost like a game. My nephew is Polish (his father's name). My sister works for an entirely Polish-run company (she is the only non-Pole), and she reports her co-workers' frequent self-deprecatory banter. A have heard the same from some Polish co-workers I've had in factories and a machine shop.

There seems to be this "space" where the derogatory "Polish" concept exists, where it is "fair game." It's neither total self-deprecation (because others outside Poles participate), nor is it an outsider's denigration. This may sound silly, but it is almost like a gesture of solidarity between Polish and non-Polish Americans of the area. How such a ridiculous and unflattering thing could be a bond is strange to contemplate...the logic of it all is, in a word: Polish.

I don't know how common this is in USA, though I do know I have not seen it during my years in California. Such a usage just "wouldn't fly," and I am not sure if I could explain to people why it's OK because, naturally enough, they are thinking "Bad word. Stereotypes bad." Some friends of mine from Canada (western side) can't even come close to understanding the concept (or at least *my* version of the concept!) of using language in such a paradoxical way. And it's at those moments when I wonder if there really isn't a different way of thinking (broadly speaking) between, say, most peoples of the Northeast those of the West, and probably other areas.

On an unrelated note, I've been told by Canadians that the most "American" word I use is "yo." I think the ladies kind of like it though. Britons: beware this word doesn't invade your land!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:52 AM

Yo! It's been and gone, Gibb. Esp among folkies (and ho-hos and bottles of rum!).

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:57 AM

"On an unrelated note, I've been told by Canadians that the most "American" word I use is "yo." I think the ladies kind of like it though. Britons: beware this word doesn't invade your land!"

Too late, mah man, it's already here! Mrs. Fenswoman and I use it all the time to greet one another!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 02:28 AM

Haha, nice! Or should I say: legal!

Whenabouts did it come and go (aside from yeo-heave-ho's)?

The Englishmen of my fantasies say "oi!"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 02:43 AM

Also, speaking of "oi"... Do you guys ( = modern, non-gender-specific, plural form of "you" in Northern US!) use much of the German/Yiddish-like terms?

e.g. mainstream ones: schtick, spiel, schmear, schmutz, schlock, shyster, putz, schlepp...?
Or do these sound very "American"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:59 AM

"Yo!" seems to have arrived with Rap music. I was a Youth Worker when Rap first hit the UK, and I think I picked it up back then.

I guess "Oi!" Is a pretty common exclamation here, usually to attract someone's attention (in a rather impolite way!) or as an expression of surprise.

No we don't generally use the Yiddish-sounding expressions you mention, we have one or two - 'shyster' for instance - but there isn't a big "Yiddish" thing going on here. Maybe because we don't have such a big Jewish population here? Those terms do sound very "American" AFAIC.

Disclaimer: I'm speaking with regard to language usage out in The Lincolnshire Backwoods. Others, who may reside in the North or Dahn Sarf, may have different experiences of language usage!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:22 AM

It depends where you are. Certainly in East London although the use of Yiddish words is diminishing as the centres of Jewish population move to north London.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:57 AM

British English!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:12 AM

I don't think English/ Australian "Oy!" has anything to do with Yiddish "Oi!" The meanings, AFAIK, are distinct.

> I am also interested in how this on-the-surface very offensive usage manages to survive and, to a degree, thrive. That is, it survives in spaces where something like "Jew post office" or "Black post office" could not.

But how "thriving" is it? I've never encountered it, and I used to take note of such things. At any rate, the word "Polish" in itself isn't considered offensive, as is "Jew" used in place of "Jewish." Presumably anybody imagining "black post office" would have not have used "black." So "Polish" gets some slack (as we Yanks say)that the other two do not.

> the most "American" word I use is "yo." I think the ladies kind of like it though.

So ladies don't say "Yo"? Why the self-imposed sexism, ladies?

Have Brits started using "yo" at the end of sentences yet? I began noticing it about a dozen years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:45 AM

Going back a bit, I thought the sort of toast made by toasting a thick slice, splitting it, and then baking the result so it curled was called Melba Toast, not French toast. and I think that what I had as a child by the name French toast wasn't pain perdu (eggy bread) but buttery toast from left overs.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 12:11 PM

I don't think English/ Australian "Oy!" has anything to do with Yiddish "Oi!"

I don't either. Was making a segue!

So ladies don't say "Yo"?

*Canadian* ladies! Kidding around. Though, come to think of it, there may be a gendered aspect of it.

Have Brits started using "yo" at the end of sentences yet? I began noticing it about a dozen years ago.

This is along the lines of what I was also wondering - but was afraid to ask for fear it would lead to a confusing Internet back-and-forth. i.e.: if Britons are using "yo" like in America, or if the word exists in more limited use.
In "my" use, Yo is:
To get attention, in quieter setting: "Yo Michael!"
To get attention, when loud voice is needed: [someone far away has just dropped his wallet without noticing] "Yo!!!"
Greeting: "yo, what's up?"
To halt an action in progress: "yo yo yo"
Answering when one's name is called.
Reaction to a slight: [a car runs over my foot, or, someone cuts in line/queue] "yo...wtf?!"
Sustain someone's attention (?), at the end of sentence: "Don't be trying to bother me 'cause I gotta lotta work to do yo."

I realize most of that is the same as "hey," and not very remarkable! But it would be interesting (to me) if people in UK had adopted *all* the uses.

I don't (often) listen to Rap, so my primary association is not as a Rap-based "slang", but rather just an American word. Is it used consciously with "American" connotation, in UK?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 12:31 PM

> Answering when one's name is called.

> To get attention, when loud voice is needed: [someone far away has just dropped his wallet without noticing] "Yo!!!"

Those are the only uses that would come naturally in my speech, and even the second still sounds creepily newfangled. (When our names were called in grade school in a huge Northeastern city, we still answered "here.")

> To halt an action in progress: "yo yo yo"

Only "Whoa whoa whoa" works here for me. Or "Hold on!" (Note presence of "o" sound in all three choices>)

For some of the others, "Hey!" or "Hey man!" (certainly not "Hey, you!") is the utterance of choice.

In a "quieter setting," it would be "Say, Michael..." Or "Mike" back in the days (I mean "day") when men usually went by the conventional nicknames.

When a car runs over my foot, I say "Owwww!!! &@##@&%%!!!" Not "Yo."

No sentence-final "yo" for me. It would have to be, "OK?" or "man."

And it's just one single-syllable interjection, people! Nobody said language was simple!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: JennieG
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 04:47 PM

Here's one woman who says "yo". When I answer my mobile (cell phone, for the Canadians and USAans among us) it's my standard greeting.

Unless I feel like putting on the dog, then it's "Yes?"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 05:58 PM

Didn't Bush greet Tony Blair at some conference with "Yo, Tony!" ? I remember at the time it annoyed many Brits as it implied a lack of respect for Blair on his part and demonstrated their poodle-and-master relationship which resulted in our following along into War.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,yokel
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:59 PM

Yo is hjardly a respected word in Canada, or anywhere


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:03 PM

> implied a lack of respect.

Because they were heads of state.

If they'd been homies on a B-ball court, no prob!

("Yo, G!" would have been even better.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 01:07 AM

I just caught myself in another supposed Americanism: "Dang".

Is this heard elsewhere? On the surface, it would seem to be a euphemism for "damn", but people who say it often (e.g. I) have no fear of "damn"...it's just that we like to say "dang."

"Hot dang!" has a silliness to it, but is even uttered ever once in a while!

***

My latest "favorite" greeting is one I heard in Long Beach (California) a couple years ago. LB is a city (unlike many places in the Northeast US, for example) where, rather than passers-by putting their heads down and ignoring each other while quickly scampering along, most people walk more slowly, greet strangers, and make conversation on the street. Just comments like, "Hey man, I like that shirt! Where you get that at?" It's a fun place to be if you're gregarious and not "scared" of strangers.

Anyway, a guy came up to me and said, "What it do, bra-bra?" I felt very old and behind-the-times, as no doubt the expression has been around a while. And like the more popular, "What's good?" I wasn't sure quite how to answer! ("It do good"? "Nothin' much"?)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 01:51 AM

Nobody says "Dang" in the UK - that always smacks of American false prudishness, a bit like your daft refusal to describe public toilets (i.e those not in the home) as the toilet or lavatory, and instead call it the 'bathroom' or 'rest room' -even though there's nowhere to take a bath or have a rest!

Very strange, bearing in mind that USA-Ian's seem to pride themselves on their straight-talking, no bullshit manner! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 02:30 AM

Hmm, so is it "false prudishness" or actual prudishness? :)

You missed the part where I said it is *not* being *used* as a euphemism (though I understand why it may sound that way to you)? The true euphemism is "darn"! "Dang" just has a special flavor to it. (Speaking in the present, not historically.) The same person may say (and excuse my prudishness for apologizing for the following language!:) "Dang, that bitch is fuckin' hot!"

I realize the toilet thing was already discussed here, though it was maybe years ago so:

"Bathroom" is used for both home facilities and public ones. I see it as more a case of using the same word for the "same" thing. I agree that it is euphemistic, but so is "toilet", to an extent. Bathrooms in public contain toilets, urinals, and sinks for washing. You might go their to blow your nose, for example. The lack of any "bath" in public leads the change, in official language, to "restroom"!
In Canada (or some parts at least) it's a "washroom."
In North India, it's a "bathroom" (using English loan word)...or sometimes "washroom" (where Canadians have had their influence), and also "toilet!" However, in Hindi-Urdu it is "ghusal-khaana," literally "bathroom" - except in some rustic areas, where (in coarse Punjabi for example) it is "TaTTiaan" = "shitters". I recall once asking, on behalf of a female fellow traveler in Pakistan: "oe, zanaanian diaan tattian kithe hagiaan ne?" - "Yo, where are the ladies' shitters?" It felt kind of silly, given my "sahib" status!
A "public toilet" seems to me to be the *official* term, in Europe, for something that generally does not exist in the USA...it's like the yard vs. garden thing. And "toilet" shortens that.
In short: the reading of the level of cultural prudishness from these terms seem premature to me.

Indeed, since everyone knows what "bathroom" is, and what one does there, it no longer (if it ever did) functions as much of a euphemism - it's just the word one uses. Now: Euphemisms are:
1) Go to the library
2) Go to my office
3) Pay the water bill
4) Go to download some stuff (cyber-euphemism)
:D


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 06:23 AM

"Toilet" & "Lavatory" originally meant the place one goes to wash [see Susan Coolidge's "What Katy Did at School" for an example of the latter use]; but became unusable for such meanings because they became euphemisms for the shithouse

([or, perhaps still slightly euphemistic] water-closet; earlier jakes, on which Shakespeare punned regarding the name of a character in As You Like It; or privy [ie private place]; or latrine [generally a hole-in-ground earth closet]; or, idiomatic, bog);

to be succeeded by words of similar meaning like washroom or bathroom; or, even more evasively, restroom. Or the U [in the Nancy Mitford sense of Upper-class] loo, of disputed etymology, perhaps from French l'eau, or the odd 0-0 (supposedly a pun on deux-eaux = two waters), preceded bu definite article before vowel l'.

Some day I suspec wet might run out of available euphemisms & have to return to good old shithouse, eh?

Appropriate, perhaps, to quote here: "These are deep waters, Watson."

LoL [or LoO?]

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM

The reason we don t say "toilet" (as I may have noted years ago) is that in the US has come to mean, specifically and unambiguously, the porcelain fixture used for defecation, etc., and not the room.

The OED seems not to realize just how fully synonymous in the US are "toilet" and "lavatory bowl or pedestal" (as they so prudishly phrase it). When I was a lad, the Palmolive company still advertised "toilet soap" on TV. For your complexion! If you were five, it was beyond hilarious!

Eventually they got wise.

Americans do not call a "rest room" a "toilet," because "I need to use the toilet" is a bit too graphic for most of us. Hence the desperate need for a euphemism.

"Dang" has been around forever. Submitted for your approval, from Thomas Morton's West-Country comedy smash, "Speed the Plough" (1800):


"ASHFIELD. Dang it, I ha' gotten it all in my head; but zomehow--I can't talk it. ... Dang it! never be down hearted. I do know as well as can be, zome good luck will turn up."



(Pedants will note "gotten." Others may remember Roger Miller's 1964 CW hit, "Dang me!")


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 09:57 AM

Oh Lighter, I remember that song, "...they ought take a rope and hang me..."
I find expressions such as 'good to go', 'in back', a 'heads-up', 'raincheck' etc make me feel very old and out of touch. I have to have them explained to me, which is tedious for the speaker. It could be that I don't watch much TV and so am not exposed to the changing language. I don't resent the changes, but I find it hard to keep up with them. It's sheer ignorance on my part I admit.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 10:35 AM

> 'good to go', 'in back', a 'heads-up', 'raincheck' etc make me feel very old and out of touch

Cheer up! All but "good to go" were common (even indispensable) in my NYC childhood.

I first heard "good to go" in the build-up to the 1991 Iraq War. It caught on instantly. We primitives used to say, "Ready to go."

For the past ten years I've heard people saying "It's all good." Before then it was, "Everything's fine," "It's OK," etc.

Why the switch, trivial as it is? Who knows? What's interesting is there's no obvious reason why they shouldn't have been saying it in Shakespeare's time.

But they weren't.

Not logical, psychological.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 10:54 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 11:06 AM

Oh look! a blank post.
It should have been:

The things that get to me:

When I ask "How are you?" and get the reply "Good". I'm asking after their health, not their morals!

Or, if someone beats me to it, they may say "How are we?". I tend to respond "I'm fine, but I cannot speak for you."


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 11:24 AM

Yo Nigel - What's good with it?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 11:36 AM

Fries & ketchup?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 11:49 AM

Words no good, yo. Do psychic contact.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 01:39 PM

Ah now, 'fries' to me is the correct word for those ghastly rock-hard little matchstick bits of potato you get with a MacDonald burger. The word 'chips' refers to the delicious, tasty and more-ish piano-key- sized fried potatoes you have with a bit of cod or haddock. Soft inside and crispy outside, they absorb vinegar like a dream, taste gorgeous and that's why I'm so fat! I'd never call them 'fries'!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 03:15 PM

for those of us who would get their mouths washed out with soap for swearing or cursing... "dang or dang it" was the only way to express ones self safely.

"But, Mom.. I didn't say #@*&." Saved by a technicality.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 04:33 PM

'"toilet" (as I may have noted years ago) is that in the US has come to mean, specifically and unambiguously, the porcelain fixture used for defecation, etc., and not the room.'
.,,.
Originally, of course, it meant neither. The original meaning was the *process* of washing, arranging hair, (for a woman) making up, &c, prior to dressing and presenting oneself to company; either in the morning on rising, or later in the day before a meal or going out.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: JennieG
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 05:09 PM

My etiquette book, originally published in 1885 and reprinted in facsimile in 1982, has "Chapter XXXII: The Toilet: Importance of neatness and cleanliness, etc" and "Chapter XXXIII: Toilet Recipes: To remover freckles, pimples and sunburn, etc".

Both chapters make very interesting reading!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 06:08 PM

As a midwest American, two weeks shy of 83 years, I can tell
you that I've NEVER heard "Yo" used in general speech, other
than in the US Army in 1953, '54, and '55, and then only
as a response at roll call or mail call, as in, "Smith!"--"Yo!" (meaning, roughly, "Here I am!")

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 06:45 PM

And they advertised "toilet water" (cologne) too!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:19 PM

Refreshing this elderly Mudcat thread
because the question was raised,
pertinent to the coming US Presidential elections,
about the origins of the word
"Kibosh."

I'm shocked to discover that Charles Dickens used the word
in a short story, "Seven Dials,"
printed in 1836 --

of course, he spelled the word "kye-bosk."
We live and learn!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:40 PM

Going back a few years to the comments about "bathroom" being a euphemism for "lavatory" - it wasn't when I was in New Zealand, and wouldn't have made sense. NZ houses generally had a separate roomlet for the toilet, with a separate entrance from the bathroom. "Bathroom" meant a toom with a bath in it. (This may have been reinforced by Maori concepts of hygiene, which prohibit washing and shitting in the same place).

My pet hate Americanism is biscuits in the UK being sold as "cookies". British cuisine doesn't HAVE cookies. They belong to an alien taxonomy of foods.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 09:22 PM

As a Canadian, I use both "cookie" and "biscuit". A cookie is soft, and usually made with some kind of inclusion -- raisins, nuts, or cream filling. A biscuit is crisp and may have icing or sprinkles on it. So a Jaffa cake is a cookie and a Hobnob is a biscuit. Shortbread and gingersnaps are biscuits. Sandwich-type confections (e.g., the Oreo) are cookies -- the filling, you see. And those things with chocolate chips in them -- cookies. Soft.

It's easy. Well, easy for a Canadian. Your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 09:24 PM

H. W. & F. G. Fowler, in _The King's English_ (1906), have a section titled "Americanisms", in which they complain, "Mr. Rudyard Kipling...and his school are americanizing us." So long ago, and under such eminent auspices!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM

It's been going on for a long time and is not merely one-way. I've especially noticed over the past few years the phrase "no worries" which when I was young was only heard from the antipodies (Australia and New Zealand). Now I hear it from the local young.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: JennieG
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 02:54 AM

Come to Oz, you biscuit and cookie loving people......they're all called "bikkies" here, no distinction as to soft or not!

Language is a living growing thing which is continually evolving. While we might not love the direction it's taking, you can bet it won't be long before it takes another turn - and that's what makes it interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 09:47 AM

Do British websites have biscuits?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: BobL
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM

No more than British ballet dancers dance a step-of-two, British musicians perform a sounding-together, or British cooks use a garnished bouquet.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 09:10 AM

Do British websites have biscuits?

Look at what this one says:

https://www.englishcathedrals.co.uk/

Shouldn't it be "accept wafers"?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 09:37 AM

"No more than British ballet dancers dance a step-of-two"

Yebbut they do it in tutus...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English usages taking over Brit
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:24 PM

My poem, from WalkaboutsVerse, on this "For Better Or Worse"


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