Heaven: 2021 Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • They changed lots of things in the American edition of the first novel. It is my understanding that by the end of the series they had toned it down. Still, I'd rather have the original.
  • I actually don't object (much) to changes, if they aid clarity for the reader, but - genuine question - any idea why a sorcerer's stone was thought to be more easily understood than a philosopher's stone? (I haven't read the books, so there may be an aspect of plot or something that I'm missing).
  • Kittyville wrote: »
    I actually don't object (much) to changes, if they aid clarity for the reader, but - genuine question - any idea why a sorcerer's stone was thought to be more easily understood than a philosopher's stone? (I haven't read the books, so there may be an aspect of plot or something that I'm missing).

    Good question. I would say the phrase "philosopher's stone" is all but unknown in young America. Is it better known by British youth? Then again "sorcerer's stone", a neologism, meant nothing at all to anybody (before the book).
  • The explanation I was given was that Americans wouldn't know what a philosopher was ...

    Thoreau and Emerson anyone?

    I suspect that was a gross calumny.

    I'd be surprised if da yoof on either side of The Pond would know what a philosopher or a sorcerer were ...

    There's also the story that 'The Madness of King George III' was retitled 'The Madness of King George' for US audiences because otherwise they would have thought it was a sequel and wondered what had happened to films (movies) I and II ...

    Again, a gross calumny I am sure ...
  • Then why repeat them?
  • On a more serious note ...

    I've heard that the echoes of Elizabethan and Jacobean English in Appalachian speech has been exaggerated, but that the links are certainly there.

    I think it is possible to detect elements of some UK accents in some regional US speech - notes of Ulster and Western Scotland, some West Country English too ... and this may be because those accents retain more elements of 17th and 18th century English.

    I've heard that the Pitcairn Islanders sound a bit like Kiwis, but also have elements of 18th century English passed down from The Bounty mutineers.

    I do wonder whether some of these echoes are coincidental?

    For instance, it's sometimes noted that some Aussies sound as if they are from Norfolk. Was East Anglia that much of an influence on early settlers and convicts? Why isn't there more Irish influence on Australian accents given that a lot of early settlers were Irish?

    Perhaps there is, but it became morphed somewhere along the way. I can hear Cockney and East Anglian influences on Australian accents, but not Scottish or Irish ...

    With the US, of course, there's were also Dutch, German and other European accents in the mix, but from what I've read, most of the colonists in 1776 wouldn't have sounded much different from their cousins on this side of the Atlantic.

    They reckon the process was far quicker in New Zealand where the settlers' original accents had all but vanished within 70 years to be replaced by the distinctive NZ accent.

    I'm no expert but am intrigued by such things. There does seem to be a difference between what we might call Northern Hemisphere English and Southern Hemisphere English - or am I imagining that and it's simply a case of 'continental' variations - North America and its subdivisions, Anglophone Africa and its subdivisions, India, South East Asia, the Antipodes ...
  • I'd be surprised if da yoof on either side of The Pond would know what a philosopher or a sorcerer were ...
    Can’t speak about British youth, but even prior to the publication of the first Harry Potter book, I’d be surprised if an American youth didn’t know what a sorcerer was.

    Scholastic asked permission to change the name of the book because they thought American kids would associate “philosopher” with old, boring academics, not with magic.

  • Sure. I was thinking of pre-J K Rowling ...

    I'm sure your explanation is the right one.

    Mind you, hearing a tour guide at Laycock Abbey interrupted during her spiel about Fox Talbot and early photography by a US tourist who merely wanted her to show him 'where they filmed Harry Potter', merely served to confirm my misgivings about the novels and the films ...

  • That was a confusing post I made ... shouldn't post when tired and stressed. 'I agree with Nick,' is what I meant to say.

    (and without the connotations that carries for UK readers)
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Wasn't there something about sweaters and jumpers that had to be switched for Americans?
  • We had an author to talk to the children at school about his books, and he told about a discussion with his American publisher in his American house at which the subject of the milkman who was a key character was mentioned. He was told he would have to change it as the American children would not know what a milkman was. At which point a characteristic sound as of milk bottles being carried in a metal holder was heard to approach the front door, and then retreat. Despite the obvious reaction to this, the publisher didn't shift. Milk deliveries did not happen across all states.
  • Wasn't there something about sweaters and jumpers that had to be switched for Americans?

    Yes, I believe that was one of the changes.
  • A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.
  • john holdingjohn holding Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Wasn't there something about sweaters and jumpers that had to be switched for Americans?

    Yes, I believe that was one of the changes.

    I was amused by an incident in the last book -- Hermione refers to washing Ron"s pants, which causes him to react with horror since no teenage boy wants a girl anywhere near his used (under)pants. In the US version that falls flat. Or did they change "pants" ?
  • A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Wasn't there something about sweaters and jumpers that had to be switched for Americans?

    Yes, I believe that was one of the changes.

    I was amused by an incident in the last book -- Hermione refers to washing Ron"s pants, which causes him to react with horror since no teenage boy wants a girl anywhere near his used (under)pants. In the US version that falls flat. Or did they change "pants" ?

    No, but in a later book she tried to make it up by saying "Y-fronts" not realizing that that doesn't work in America either.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    What do you have if you don't have Y-fronts?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators. They are an alternative to forced air furnaces; forced air furnaces being much faster to heat up an area are used in colder climates, and also offer the possibilities of controlling humidity and to use the same ductwork for airconditioning (cooling). We see boilers in older buildings mostly here and in apartment buildings.

    Re coverall, it is always coveralls here, never singular. Similarly we never hear the singular version of dice, pliers, scissors. It's a "pair of pliers" or scissors.

    What do you call screw driver heads or other bolt turning equipment? Here: robertson for square head, phillips for plus sign, allen (or allen key) for hexagonal, torx for star. A monkey wrench refers to what are also called crescent wrenches (I think from a brand name - adjustable for nuts and bolts.

    [tangent]
    Being in Canada, where metric is mostly used, but next to USA where imperial is mosty used, we end up having to have 2 of everything for tools: metric and imperial. I have wrenches and socket sets for both. Also allen keys. Though some cross-over is possible, e.g., 1/2 inch bolt can be turned by a 13mm wrench.
    [/tangent]
  • A monkey wrench refers to what are also called crescent wrenches (I think from a brand name - adjustable for nuts and bolts.

    Isn't an adjustable wrench a "spanner" in British English? And doesn't an unforeseen problem throw a spanner in the works?

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I’m used to multiple spanner sizes in the U.K. too, especially with older (classic) vehicles. Do you have Whitworth, B.S.F and SAE/A.F sizes?
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    A monkey wrench refers to what are also called crescent wrenches (I think from a brand name - adjustable for nuts and bolts.

    Isn't an adjustable wrench a "spanner" in British English? And doesn't an unforeseen problem throw a spanner in the works?

    wrench <-> spanner, and so adjustable wrench <-> adjustable spanner

    @Robert Armin I think what Brits call y-fronts, Americans call briefs. I don't think they need a name to distinguish the various possible kinds of opening.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators.

    Yes, thank you for the plumbing lesson. Nevertheless, they are still referred to as "furnaces" and a workman in the US is vanishingly unlikely to turn up at the door and say "I'm here to fix the boiler" no matter what form your furnace takes.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators.

    Yes, thank you for the plumbing lesson. Nevertheless, they are still referred to as "furnaces" and a workman in the US is vanishingly unlikely to turn up at the door and say "I'm here to fix the boiler" no matter what form your furnace takes.

    We're in different countries which is what this is all about eh? If someone here asks for a furnace repair, the repair person may say that didn't know it was a boiler. They licence people separately for them.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators.

    Yes, thank you for the plumbing lesson. Nevertheless, they are still referred to as "furnaces" and a workman in the US is vanishingly unlikely to turn up at the door and say "I'm here to fix the boiler" no matter what form your furnace takes.

    We're in different countries which is what this is all about eh?

    Yes which is why I said "In the US" (handily cast in italics above).
  • mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    Being in Canada, where metric is mostly used, but next to USA where imperial is mosty used, we end up having to have 2 of everything for tools: metric and imperial. I have wrenches and socket sets for both. Also allen keys. Though some cross-over is possible, e.g., 1/2 inch bolt can be turned by a 13mm wrench.
    [/tangent]
    Dangerous territory here. Please don't put a 13mm socket on a half inch hex; you might wreck it. (19mm on a 3/4inch hex is fine). To confuse things more, you will also find a tool called a spanner wrench, which has two protruding pins to engage holes on either side of a circular nut, bolt head, or similar device. The name must be due to the fact that it spans the fastener, as on some bicycle bottom bracket nuts.

    Diverting a little, this can be an enjoyable subject. In the workshops of a large manufacturer of flying machines located in Quebec, the predominant language is French, of course, but in spite of official prodding, it will be le washer, le nut and le rivet and so on that hold the planes together.
  • Why 'furnace' in the US? A boiler boils things, a furnace burns them. Think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Only they didn't get burnt.

    I've got the boiler man coming to fix mine this week. If he was coming to fix my 'furnace' I'd think I had some kind of incinerator somewhere.

    A furnace in UK parlance tends to refer to something that burns things to ash, not something that heats things up a bit.

    I'm trying to think of industrial processes involving furnaces which don't involve molten metal or things being heated up so much that they lose their consistency.

    What do you call kilns? Are they furnaces too?

    Of course, you can call boilers and furnaces and other equipment involving heat processes whatever you wish, but I'm genuinely puzzled by this one.

    It sounds rather hyperbolic and apocalyptic to refer to a standard central heating boiler as a furnace ... rather like calling a pocket pistol a cannon ...

    I suppose though that the term 'boiler' may have been understated in UK English when the term 'boiler suit' was coined for overalls (or 'coveralls' it seems in North America) worn in the bowels of steam-powered battleships.

    It's interesting. I tend to think of a forge as a place where metal is worked, a boiler as something that heats water to create steam and a furnace as something where items are incinerated.

    At what point did this change or have we always been out of synch?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    Being in Canada, where metric is mostly used, but next to USA where imperial is mosty used, we end up having to have 2 of everything for tools: metric and imperial. I have wrenches and socket sets for both. Also allen keys. Though some cross-over is possible, e.g., 1/2 inch bolt can be turned by a 13mm wrench.
    [/tangent]
    Dangerous territory here. Please don't put a 13mm socket on a half inch hex; you might wreck it. (19mm on a 3/4inch hex is fine). To confuse things more, you will also find a tool called a spanner wrench, which has two protruding pins to engage holes on either side of a circular nut, bolt head, or similar device. The name must be due to the fact that it spans the fastener, as on some bicycle bottom bracket nuts.

    Diverting a little, this can be an enjoyable subject. In the workshops of a large manufacturer of flying machines located in Quebec, the predominant language is French, of course, but in spite of official prodding, it will be le washer, le nut and le rivet and so on that hold the planes together.

    Thanks to Reagan, we are still using a modified Imperial system of measurement while the rest of the world has gone metric.

    This means things get a little complicated here for mechanics. Most modern cars are put together using the metric system, cars made in America before Reagan were Imperial.

    We are still trying to catch up.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    'Furnace' and 'boiler' are two different things here, as are 'spanner' and 'wrench'. A 'furnace' is a contained fire, the emphasis on the fire, e.g. as for smelting. A boiler uses heat to boil water, as for washing. As most central heating systems here use hot water in pipes and radiators, the same boiler usually deals with hot water and central heating.

    Spanners either come in sizes or are adjustable and unscrew nuts. Wrenches, basically wrench. Googling 'monkey wrench' reveals what I'd call an adjustable spanner. Again, using google, I think what I mean by 'wrench', often a 'mole wrench', may be called locking pliers in North America.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    In Scots a spanner is often a ‘key’ and an adjustable one is a ‘shifting key’.
  • Why 'furnace' in the US? A boiler boils things, a furnace burns them. Think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Only they didn't get burnt.
    Probably because heating systems that rely on heating water and circulating that water or steam through radiators are found only in old building here that haven’t gotten around to replacing them with a different system. At least in the part of the US where I live, radiator heating, especially in houses, is very rare. Until the days of heat pumps, most heating systems relied on burning fuel of some kind; my furnace burns natural gas.

    I assume that because the majority of heating systems here since the mid-20th C, if not earlier, were furnaces (as in devices that burn things), furnace became the generic, understood term.


  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators.

    Yes, thank you for the plumbing lesson. Nevertheless, they are still referred to as "furnaces" and a workman in the US is vanishingly unlikely to turn up at the door and say "I'm here to fix the boiler" no matter what form your furnace takes.
    Actually, they will TOTALLY do this in the Midwest if you have a boiler system, like the one we had when we lived in the parsonage, which had steam heating with radiators along the walls etc. And I have at least one friend who has a similar system for her home. So it may be a regionalism.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    A few years ago a friend asked for some help with a car job or something like that, and I said - Yes - I'll just get my boiler suit on. Eh? says he. That would be a coverall to a North American, who is presumably unaccustomed to working inside boilers like the rest of us.

    We don't say "boiler" we say "furnace".
    Some furnaces are boilers. They heat up liquid (often a mix of water with something like glycerol) and circulate it through a building to radiators.

    Yes, thank you for the plumbing lesson. Nevertheless, they are still referred to as "furnaces" and a workman in the US is vanishingly unlikely to turn up at the door and say "I'm here to fix the boiler" no matter what form your furnace takes.
    Actually, they will TOTALLY do this in the Midwest if you have a boiler system, like the one we had when we lived in the parsonage, which had steam heating with radiators along the walls etc. And I have at least one friend who has a similar system for her home. So it may be a regionalism.

    That may well be. We tried to get someone in to look at the boiler in our house and had to make multiple phone calls until we found somebody who worked on them -- a plumbing company, not an HVAC company. Although even here "boiler" might be the wrong term since we have a forced hot water system, not a forced steam system.
  • I
    BroJames wrote: »
    In Scots a spanner is often a ‘key’ and an adjustable one is a ‘shifting key’.

    Another tangent... In a certain Scottish village garage where the young mechanic couldn't find a metric key for my car's oil drain plug, I innocently asked him if he had a metric shifting spanner. "Na", he said, "Dinnae have one o' them".
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    "Jumper" vs. "Sweater":

    In the US, a jumper is a sleeveless dress, usually worn over a blouse. Sweaters come in many forms. I think a UK jumper would be a pullover, here.

    There's also an item of baby clothing known as a jumper, IIRC.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Why 'furnace' in the US? A boiler boils things, a furnace burns them. Think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Only they didn't get burnt.
    Probably because heating systems that rely on heating water and circulating that water or steam through radiators are found only in old building here that haven’t gotten around to replacing them with a different system. At least in the part of the US where I live, radiator heating, especially in houses, is very rare. Until the days of heat pumps, most heating systems relied on burning fuel of some kind; my furnace burns natural gas.

    I assume that because the majority of heating systems here since the mid-20th C, if not earlier, were furnaces (as in devices that burn things), furnace became the generic, understood term.


    We had hot water radiators in our first house in South Dakota. It was an old turn of the 20th-century house. While it was a really inefficient system what I liked about it was that it kept the heat pretty level throughout the day. We turned it down at night, so when we turned it back up there would be a lot of clanging as the pipes and radiators expanded.
  • I
    BroJames wrote: »
    In Scots a spanner is often a ‘key’ and an adjustable one is a ‘shifting key’.

    Another tangent... In a certain Scottish village garage where the young mechanic couldn't find a metric key for my car's oil drain plug, I innocently asked him if he had a metric shifting spanner. "Na", he said, "Dinnae have one o' them".

    Possibly because we call them adjustable spanners.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Names persist even after reality changes. We ate off delf and china long after our plates and cups no longer came from the Low Countries or the far east.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    A monkey wrench refers to what are also called crescent wrenches (I think from a brand name - adjustable for nuts and bolts.

    Isn't an adjustable wrench a "spanner" in British English? And doesn't an unforeseen problem throw a spanner in the works?

    wrench <-> spanner, and so adjustable wrench <-> adjustable spanner

    @Robert Armin I think what Brits call y-fronts, Americans call briefs. I don't think they need a name to distinguish the various possible kinds of opening.

    I'm always a bit worried when I hear them called "tighty whities". Sounds most uncomfortable.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    That may well be. We tried to get someone in to look at the boiler in our house and had to make multiple phone calls until we found somebody who worked on them -- a plumbing company, not an HVAC company. Although even here "boiler" might be the wrong term since we have a forced hot water system, not a forced steam system.

    The UK usage of 'boiler' is misleading, because the common domestic devices are not actually boilers, just water heaters, and no steam is involved. Power stations and railway locomotives have real boilers.

    In UK engineering/railway usage, a 'boiler suit' is jacket and trousers (mostly but not inevitably bib-and-braces trousers), and 'overalls' is a one-piece garment.
  • 'The rest of the world has gone metric'? Try telling that to a Brexiteer! Thanks to the pusillanimity of successive governments, we in the UK are stuck most uncomfortably half-way.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Eirenist wrote: »
    'The rest of the world has gone metric'? Try telling that to a Brexiteer! Thanks to the pusillanimity of successive governments, we in the UK are stuck most uncomfortably half-way.

    I had a foot in both camps but gone over to metric for cooking because of baking with kids. Still measure mountains in feet and distances in miles. But I'd not lose sleep if beer started coming in half litres - more concerned that it's proper cask conditioned ale.
  • Signaller wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    That may well be. We tried to get someone in to look at the boiler in our house and had to make multiple phone calls until we found somebody who worked on them -- a plumbing company, not an HVAC company. Although even here "boiler" might be the wrong term since we have a forced hot water system, not a forced steam system.

    The UK usage of 'boiler' is misleading, because the common domestic devices are not actually boilers, just water heaters, and no steam is involved. Power stations and railway locomotives have real boilers.

    In UK engineering/railway usage, a 'boiler suit' is jacket and trousers (mostly but not inevitably bib-and-braces trousers), and 'overalls' is a one-piece garment.

    Perhaps it is regional usage around the UK. I first heard the term from my father, and when I worked in Scotland myself, the one piece overall was always a boiler suit, and I assumed that was because you didn't want to be wearing separate items when squeezing through, say, a locomotive firehole. We may have to declare a truce on this!
  • I'm always a bit worried when I hear them called "tighty whities". Sounds most uncomfortable.

    A few days ago one of our late night pundits (I think it was Stephen Colbert) referred to Mike Pence as a tighty whitey.
  • Amen to proper cask conditioned ale, but I'd feel uncomfortable if we ever ditched the pint - which I only found out recently differs in volume slightly from the US pint measure.

    Meanwhile, who says that the Ship isn't educational? I hadn't realised that there were regional US variations in central heating systems and nomenclature.

    On the word 'furnace' again, I've only heard the word used in relation to heavy industrial processes such as smelting.

    Even those heating systems here which involve burning fuel of some kind wouldn't be called 'furnaces'. Stoves or fires but never furnaces. I wonder whether 'twas ever thus or it's another example of UK usage changing from what would have been universal usage on both sides of the Atlantic at one time?

    Mind you, they wouldn't have had oil or gas fired central heating systems back in 1776 and all that any more than they had aerodromes - whatever the current POTUS has to say on the matter.

    I'm intrigued by Nick Tamen's observation that radiators that use heated water represent old technology in his part of the USA. Over here they were a very welcome development from old oil-powered systems and erratic hot air systems - and they are heated by North Sea gas.

    Combined cooking and heating systems as found in many farms and cottages and increasingly the preserve of the well-heeled tend to be known by their brand name - Aga.

    My grandparents had one in their cottage long before these things became trendy - it was the only way they could heat the water. I used to drop things into it to watch them burn - I hope I didn't drop ants and spiders in there but I may well have done I'm afraid ... :(

    The bit that did the actual burning was always known as the 'stove', never a 'furnace'.

    I'm intrigued as to why and how the divergence came about.

    I am old enough to remember when most British homes had coal fires which were prepared the night before and which were lit early in the morning in order to provide warmth and to heat up the water.

    Instant hot water was a luxury that came later. I remember 'storage heaters' and hot air systems - which were always very dry and dusty - and fierce but feeble electric fires and those paraffin heaters and the bulky calor gas heaters on castors that you could trundle around. As a student and afterwards I lived in a number of houses with no heating whatsoever other than a potentially lethal gas or electric fire in the living room. Indeed, I was nearly gassed in one place, nodding off from the fumes emitted from an unserviced gas fire. Fortunately I came to and turned it off in time. I had a chimney sweep in to remove it, sweep the chimney and then reconnect it - but I wish I'd let it revert to a coal fire. I like setting the coal and wood fires going in my mother's hearth - although she does have central heating too, of a very rudimentary and outdated kind.
  • On boiler suits ... perhaps there are differences in terminology between industries as well as regions. I've always thought of boiler suits as one-piece garments, a form of 'overall' ('coverall), and Churchill famously used to wear one in the War Rooms and around the house even though he wasn't scrambling through oily fissures or tweaking valves.
  • re measurement.

    In Canada (in my generation and prairie area) height and weight of people are usually feet/inches and pounds (lbs) but increasingly I'm hearing kilos for weight. Longer distances are always kilometres and more frequently that's said as "clicks" or Ks (like the letter). If kilometres is said it's "kuh LAWM mi'turz". e.g., I live 12 clicks (12 Ks) away.

    The weight of things in stones is lost on me.

    We do say things oddly in the inbetween way though. We'll drive 100 km and say it metric, but also describe someone as 10 feet away.
  • I've enjoyed the tools discussion - Mole Grips, adjustable spanners and all. Did you know 'Mole' was the name of the company who originally made them - I didn't until some old ones came my way. 'Footprints' are a little similar, made by a venerable Sheffield tool firm who just about still exist. In Poland, rather insultingly, an adjustable spanner is called an 'Englander' - perhaps the neighbouring Germans tend to the ze korrect ringenspanner - and the Russians use...a hammer and punch :smile: Talking of butchers implements, I wonder if US readers know what Stillsons are?

  • Stillson? No, they don't, as I found out the usual way. They really don't like the term 'American screwdriver' for a hammer, though to be fair, I've also heard 'Glasgow screwdriver' for that, and watched a friend hammer in wood screws and use a screwdriver for the last couple of turns.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I can sort of cope with metric - but they never seem like real measures to me.

    I got laughed at by my fish van man for ordering 50g of prawns when I meant 500 - but I was born into the world of oz and lb and cwt (coal came in cwts), £.s.d. wasn't something you dropped, 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, 1760 yards in a mile.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Firenze wrote: »
    I was born into the world of oz and lb and cwt (coal came in cwts), £.s.d. wasn't something you dropped, 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, 1760 yards in a mile.

    Post Brexit we're getting it all back. Fact.
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