Heaven: 2021 Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • We get the exact same phrases.
  • Some questions or comments about the pronunciation of various words. These have only occurred to me recently through listening to audiobooks.

    Shone. The first time I heard a narrator pronounce shone like "shown" (i.e. rhyming with bone, moan etc. I thought it was very quirky. Since then I've heard most (maybe all) American narrators pronounce it this way. I've never heard anyone from the UK pronounce it like this. I've always pronounced it to rhyme with gone, John, on and swan. Is that universal in the US?

    Hover. Most American narrators rhyme it with "cover", "lover" et. I (and I think all Brits) use a short "o". I can't think of any exact rhymes except the slang word "bovver" meaning bother.

    Houses. Sometimes the first "s" is unvoiced, pronounced like an s , like in the singular. Until recently I had only ever heard it pronounced "houZes". Is this common?

    The (before a vowel). Usually it is pronounced "thee" before a vowel. It just seems easier to me. So we end up saying something closer to "thee yapple" for "the apple". Nowadays I hear "the [glottal stop] apple". I think this is dialect both in the UK and US, but I'm not sure how common.
  • Some questions or comments about the pronunciation of various words. These have only occurred to me recently through listening to audiobooks.

    Shone. The first time I heard a narrator pronounce shone like "shown" (i.e. rhyming with bone, moan etc. I thought it was very quirky. Since then I've heard most (maybe all) American narrators pronounce it this way. I've never heard anyone from the UK pronounce it like this. I've always pronounced it to rhyme with gone, John, on and swan. Is that universal in the US?
    In my experience, yes. While studying voice in college, I was taught to sing “shone” to rhyme with “John,” but that pronunciation isn’t normal here.

  • Shone. The first time I heard a narrator pronounce shone like "shown" (i.e. rhyming with bone, moan etc. I thought it was very quirky. Since then I've heard most (maybe all) American narrators pronounce it this way. I've never heard anyone from the UK pronounce it like this. I've always pronounced it to rhyme with gone, John, on and swan. Is that universal in the US?

    I pronounce "John," "on," and "swan" all differently. "Shone" rhymes with "bone" or "moan."

    The difficulty with discussing pronunciation in written (or typed, or keyed, or whatever we're doing) form is saying that word X rhymes with word Y doesn't mean much if we're not agreed on how to pronounce word Y, or just don't know how the other person pronounces it.
  • Hover: I hear both

    Southern: short u su-thern and pig-like sow-thern are both heard here.
    I hear pillow as both pill-oh and pell-oh.
    bathrooms are sometimes bad-rooms
    and during saxophone call is very annoying

    The equivalent to "I'll get my coat" might be "okay there mother, maybe I'll go warm up the truck".
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Equivalent to "I'll get my coat" might be "I'll shut up now."

    Pronunciation in these parts:

    Shone rhymes with "flown, moan, cone"
    Hover rhymes with "cover lover"
    Houses has unvoiced "S" for the noun, and voiced "S" for the verb.
    The = thee before a vowel (which is to say a glottal stop) here too. Definitely aids linking and speeds up speaking.
  • Canadians do in some parts call "a gong show" the thing that makes you say "I'll get me coat" or "I'll shut up now". Do other places have gong shows? There's also total gong shows.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    My French flatmate in my student days took a class in English slang and came back giggling. They had covered all the phrases used for death including kick the bucket, pop your clogs, stick your spoon in the wall and push up daisies.

    She was tickled pink!
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    I have never heard "stick your spoon in the wall."

    There are also a lot of phrases used for "throw up" -- toss your cookies, blow chunks, hurl, drive the porcelain bus...
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The word Quay. We know it as a mooring for ships large or small and pronounce it Key. Indeed, part of the Sydney CBD is called Circular Quay and it's the place where Capt. Phillip made his settlement. It's now also a railway station on the airport line. So many US tourists pronounce it Kway and have no idea what it means
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    I have never heard "stick your spoon in the wall."

    There are also a lot of phrases used for "throw up" -- toss your cookies, blow chunks, hurl, drive the porcelain bus...

    Chatting with Ralph/Talking to God down the Great White Telephone...
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    I only know Quay because of my nautical past, and an old Al Stewart song.

    Anent voiding one's stomach: heave, technicolor yawn
  • To see a man about a dog. Hang a rat. Thinking time. Lose your load. Sit down job. Appointment with sweet thundering Jesus.
  • Regarding shirtwaists, we call them blouses (which can mean something else for someone in uniform. Here is an article from The American Experience.
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    That last one’s a mouthful.

    Hope the barf not!
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    KarlLB wrote: »

    Chatting with Ralph/Talking to God down the Great White Telephone...

    "Calling Ralph on the big ceramic phone" is one I remember from my youth.
  • “Praying to the porcelain god” was one frequently used when I was in college.

  • Athrawes wrote: »
    It’s titbit here, when it’s used at all. In my family, we’d usually have a smidge.

    I'm in Detroit (for reference - I too miss being able to see where people are).

    I usually hear tidbit used in relation to information. We would have other quantities of food: a bit, a bite, a smidgeon, lots of options there.

    Of course, there is a similar-sounding word for one glorious kind of food - Tim Bits! (Donut holes from Tim Horton's, a Canadian chain that thankfully has spread through Michigan.)

  • It varies IMHO by age, location and reading. And one may use the form for one word (e,g, spelt) while eschewing it for another (dreamed), I believe we are in the process of losing the --t form, but the pace at which this proceeds varies by word and individual speaker.

    Anyone else find that these sorts of things vary in your own usage? I can't always pinpoint why. It's probably from hearing/reading the various usages, and whichever my brain pulls up first in the moment is what I'll use.

    For me, I never have used spelt, either written or pronounced that way. Same with learnt. I'm having trouble thinking of when and why I use leapt instead of leaped - probably because I just don't leap much. ;) I used to occasionally use dreamt (drempt?), but I don't anymore.

    Another example of variation for me was route. I grew up pronouncing it "rowt," but once I learned French, I found myself pronouncing it "root" if I was reading it, "rowt" if I was just saying it. Eventually, "root" mostly took over, but I think "rowt" still creeps in sometimes.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    I have heard wise men say that Americans say rowt and Brits say root, but then there is that song from the 1950s, "Get your kicks on root 66". NOT rowt 66, although that would be perfectly understandable. I wonder if it's a regional thing, or perhaps a class thing?
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    American prepositions confuse me. "I cut it off of him." "I visited with her."

    What purpose do the "of" and "with" serve?
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Re "route":

    I've used both pronunciations, but I think I usually use "root".
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    I have never heard "I cut it off of him" unless you're talking about lopping a limb.

    I visited with her means we sat and talked. I visited her means I stopped by her house.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    I have never heard "I cut it off of him" unless you're talking about lopping a limb.

    I visited with her means we sat and talked. I visited her means I stopped by her house.

    Yup, I agree with both explanations.

    And I've always pronounced "route" the same as "root." Maybe because my father said "rowt" and it bugged me.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    I took it off of him?

    Apologies if my first example didn't work, but "off of" is definitely something I see a lot, and it irritates me. As does "visited with", even though mousethief's explanation makes sense. I'm definitely old and crusty now, and lots of things irritate me!
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    I used my example because I'd been reading a book that featured a misused dog. The narrator cut his collar off him. No "of" needed, but one was included.
  • Do you have pullovers, anoraks, cardigans, shells, fleeces. All types of jacket like things.

    Aye in U.K. including trench coats, duffle coats, cagoules (anorak?), shrugs, hoodies (love a hoodie!) and probably more!

    A hoodie is a bunnyhug in Saskatchewan. We don't have shrugs or cagoules. Windbreaker is both a jacket and a farter/smelly burper.
  • Around here (U.S.) to break wind is related to flatulence. But a windbreaker is a lightweight jacket, usually nylon, sometimes lined, and usually with a hood. I've encountered them in English novels as windcheaters.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Yes the unneeded "of" turns up in a lot of places. It's one of those "tscha, it's English, what can you do?"things. I don't know how new it is.

    Prepositions are a bizarre and strange things. Why are Brits "in hospital" but North Americans "in the hospital"? At weekends versus on weekends? And on.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    Eirenist wrote: »
    The current equivalent of 'bon appetit' (good appetite) in popular British eateries at the moment seems to be 'There you go!' (where?), or, in slightly more upmarket places 'Enjoy!' (I'm not sure if this is intended as a command.) Is there a North American version?
    Those, and "Does everything look delicious?" I can't quite bring myself to respond.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    edited October 2019
    I used my example because I'd been reading a book that featured a misused dog. The narrator cut his collar off him. No "of" needed, but one was included.
    Those unnecessary "of" usages bother the socks off (no of) me. My inner copy editor notes them when they turn up in the paper and the speech of others, and rolls her eyes. (I try to restrain her.)


  • I have heard the 'rowt' pronunciation of 'route' ued in a drill command at the Trooping of the Colour (military parade by the Brigade of Guards - 'Parade will advance in column of route - quick march!' This would suggest that 'Rowt' is the older English pronunciation. But 'root' is the normal UK usage.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    The current equivalent of 'bon appetit' (good appetite) in popular British eateries at the moment seems to be 'There you go!' (where?), or, in slightly more upmarket places 'Enjoy!' (I'm not sure if this is intended as a command.) Is there a North American version?
    Those, and "Does everything look delicious?" I can't quite bring myself to respond.

    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    mousethief wrote: »
    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
    My response: "Not only no, but hell, no."


  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
    My response: "Not only no, but hell, no."

    I like pepper so I usually say "yes" because it makes them feel like they're actually doing something. And everybody wants to feel needed.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    Not if they're wielding a giant pepper mill, they don't.
  • I must not dine in the finer restaurants. I’ve never heard “Does everything look delicious?” I usually just get some variation of “Can I get you anything else?”

    Bonus points if a waitress follows that with “Shug.”

  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Not if they're wielding a giant pepper mill, they don't.

    Pepper mill. Never heard of that. Pepper grinder.

    A mill sounds like an industrial factory.
  • I used my example because I'd been reading a book that featured a misused dog. The narrator cut his collar off him. No "of" needed, but one was included.

    At least in my dialect, the "of" gets included because the simple form "off him" seems ... well, a bit violent? aggressive? pushy? Depending on context. The extra "of" softens things a bit, inserts some mental (and physical) space between the one doing the cutting, taking, etc. and the one er, suffering such action.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    In a domestic context a grinder - coffee grinder, spice grinder - I think of as something mechanically assisted. Whereas a pepper (or salt) mill is something you can turn by hand.

    Actually, how did mill spread from the original grinding function to processes which I didn't think involved putting stuff between two stones? Like cloth?

    Or is it the workers, not the raw material, they (darkly and satanically) grind down?
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Or is it the workers, not the raw material, they (darkly and satanically) grind down?

    :mrgreen:
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    CJCfarwest wrote: »
    There's an odd one in that which she doesn't mention, which she doesn't seem to be aware of and which would never have occurred to me.
    "I’m aware that makes two times already for this list, sorry."
    In UK English that is 'twice'. 'Two times' sounds really weird.
  • I think "off of" is common round London; not sure if it exists in Cockney. Hence, "I took it off of him", is characteristic. I bet it's in Shakespeare, wot a laaf.
  • "Off" is a mosquito repellant brand. Muskol is pure Deet. Off is weak version.

    A white-out is snow coming down and blowing in the wind such that you cannot see more than a foot or so. We're having a white out just now. About a foot and a half of snow. Plus drifts.
  • I think "off of" is common round London; not sure if it exists in Cockney. Hence, "I took it off of him", is characteristic. I bet it's in Shakespeare, wot a laaf.
    Don’t know about Shakespeare, but The Rolling Stones sang it.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    CJCfarwest wrote: »
    There's an odd one in that which she doesn't mention, which she doesn't seem to be aware of and which would never have occurred to me.
    "I’m aware that makes two times already for this list, sorry."
    In UK English that is 'twice'. 'Two times' sounds really weird.


    So would she she say "thrice" for the third mention?

    (Loved the article! :grin: )

  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Lyda wrote: »
    So would she she say "thrice" for the third mention?

    Is there one for "four times"?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    This Brit didn’t find ‘two times’ an odd usage.
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