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BS: American English usages taking over Brit

MGM·Lion 29 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 29 Oct 09 - 11:02 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 29 Oct 09 - 11:03 AM
maeve 29 Oct 09 - 11:04 AM
catspaw49 29 Oct 09 - 11:06 AM
Stu 29 Oct 09 - 11:11 AM
Mr Happy 29 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM
s&r 29 Oct 09 - 11:20 AM
manitas_at_work 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 AM
Lighter 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 AM
Leadfingers 29 Oct 09 - 11:28 AM
katlaughing 29 Oct 09 - 11:32 AM
Bill D 29 Oct 09 - 12:15 PM
artbrooks 29 Oct 09 - 12:19 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM
catspaw49 29 Oct 09 - 12:34 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Oct 09 - 01:05 PM
meself 29 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Oct 09 - 01:56 PM
Amos 29 Oct 09 - 03:01 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Oct 09 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM
katlaughing 29 Oct 09 - 03:33 PM
CarolC 29 Oct 09 - 04:01 PM
Jos 29 Oct 09 - 04:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM
VirginiaTam 29 Oct 09 - 04:37 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM
Old Vermin 29 Oct 09 - 05:31 PM
artbrooks 29 Oct 09 - 05:57 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 09 - 06:15 PM
Jos 29 Oct 09 - 06:17 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Oct 09 - 06:50 PM
Alice 29 Oct 09 - 07:23 PM
Lighter 29 Oct 09 - 07:57 PM
SharonA 29 Oct 09 - 08:11 PM
Acorn4 29 Oct 09 - 08:12 PM
SharonA 29 Oct 09 - 08:13 PM
Rowan 29 Oct 09 - 08:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 09 - 08:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 09 - 08:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 09 - 10:03 PM
artbrooks 29 Oct 09 - 10:09 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 09 - 10:29 PM
Rowan 29 Oct 09 - 10:38 PM
Alice 29 Oct 09 - 11:23 PM
meself 29 Oct 09 - 11:27 PM
Seamus Kennedy 30 Oct 09 - 12:18 AM
Gurney 30 Oct 09 - 02:10 AM
Jos 30 Oct 09 - 04:44 AM

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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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