Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    Nick Tamen wrote: »

    But “I’m really sorry to hear that, I guess” is a very odd use of “I guess.” at least to my ears. Maybe it was one of those cases where she didn’t know what to say, so something not really appropriate came out?

    Is it possible that 'I guess' was being used as (to invent a term) a bit of verbal lubricant? We've all come across people who say 'um' between each phrase, or 'like' and so on to keep the speaking going. Given what we all seem to be expecting 'I guess' to mean, it's a somewhat inappropriate piece of lubrication - but is it a phrase which slipped out rather than being meant?
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    Boogie wrote: »
    What does ‘I guess’ mean.

    The context I heard it in watered down their comment considerably!

    “I’m really sorry to hear that, I guess.”

    It seems to qualify their words with ‘sort of’ or ‘probably’ or ‘If I believe you’. 🤔

    I think we'd need more context to tell.

    When I use it, it normally means that I feel like I'm missing something the speaker hasn't conveyed clearly. So, "MaryLou doesn't work here anymore." "I'm really sorry to hear that, I guess?" would mean "I can tell you just said something important to you, but I'm not placing MaryLou at the moment--is she a friend, or what?--and I'm not sure how this impacts you personally--maybe she was your physical therapist and you're trying to tell me you have to "break in" a new one, and, well, could you say more so I can sympathize appropriately?"
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I have vivid memories of a conversation with a soldier in the Welsh Guards over 45 years ago whose ‘verbal lubricant’ was f***. It clearly had no semantic significance for him in the conversation, it was just the placeholder he used when pausing for thought or to draw breath.
  • I had a WO in the Reserves who used it as a placeholder syllable.
  • Caissa wrote: »
    I had a WO in the Reserves who used it as a placeholder syllable.

    Last time I was in Ireland, my daughter was 6 and made friends with a little girl from Dublin. Luckily for my daughter's burgeoning vocabulary, her friend had a strong Dublin accent and her liberal use of the F word simply wasn't understood by RPM Minor. Think Father Jack as a five-year-old girl and that gives some of the flavour of her language!
  • Caissa wrote: »
    I had a WO in the Reserves who used it as a placeholder syllable.

    Last time I was in Ireland, my daughter was 6 and made friends with a little girl from Dublin. Luckily for my daughter's burgeoning vocabulary, her friend had a strong Dublin accent and her liberal use of the F word simply wasn't understood by RPM Minor. Think Father Jack as a five-year-old girl and that gives some of the flavour of her language!

    Reminds me of the time when we lived in Mississippi. The neighborhood was largely Creole. Our daughter was two when we moved there. It was amazing how fast she picked up on the Creole accent. She lost it when we moved away.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    Some parts of North Wales use the word
    "cont"
    as a term of endearment - the sort of thing you call mates at the pub rather than your grandmother, admittedly.

    The derivation is exactly what you probably think it is.

    Edit - I've spoilered it because the derivation is so bloody obvious in fact.
  • Clearly the Aussies inherited it from their Welsh population.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Not usually a term of endearment here. It is often used to refer to Mr Johnson and members of his party.

  • To me, "I'm really sorry to hear that, I guess" is just one step from a slap in the face. On the same level as "I don't give a fuck what you're feeling or going through, but I'll say the words, then take them back."

    You may in fact not care about the person who died. But "I'm sorry to hear that" isn't for the dead person, it's for the living. It's telling them you care about them. To then take it back with "I guess" is unconscionable.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Maybe it was one of those cases where she didn’t know what to say, so something not really appropriate came out?

    I've heard a "Congratulations, I guess?" once - the 19-year-old single daughter of a friend announced at a gathering of friends that she was pregnant, in a way that really didn't convey how she felt about it. She seemed to be in the middle of a war with her mother on the subject, and was weaponizing the social gathering (which is never a great start to a conversation) but nobody could really tell whether it was "I'm pregnant, and it's a surprise, but I'm happy about it", or "I've been stupid and now I have to get an abortion", or "I'm pregnant, and I don't know what to think". Mostly it conveyed "I'm pregnant, and I'm angry with my mother", which didn't really help the rest of us.

    It was a really awkward response, but it was a really awkward conversation. I'm just glad someone spoke before I did, so I wasn't the one to potentially put my foot in it.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Clearly the Aussies inherited it from their Welsh population.

    I have never, ever, heard it used as a term of endearment here.
  • Pomona either you misheard the vowel or you’ve had your leg pulled
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    The derivation is exactly what you probably think it is.

    I've known a number of English blokes-in-the-pub who use the English cousin of that word as a term of endearment towards their mates. Do you think the North Walian use is milder?
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    The derivation is exactly what you probably think it is.

    I've known a number of English blokes-in-the-pub who use the English cousin of that word as a term of endearment towards their mates. Do you think the North Walian use is milder?

    I don't know as I move neither in North Welsh Pub not English Blokes In Pubs circles.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    When I aired 'at this moment in time' recently, one shipmate responded by saying that in their local usage 'now' and 'at this moment in time' have slightly, but definitely, different meanings. That isn't, so far as I am aware, the case here.

    On our news today, there was a report on a huge tornado that had swept through part of the USA yesterday and of the large number of fatalities sadly that it had caused. There was then an interview with the Governor of one of the states affected who spoke about it not as a 'tornado' but as a 'tornado event'. Is that his idiosyncratic usage, or is it a normal usage, in which case, is it just a political figure talking up the damage or is there a difference between a 'tornado' and a 'tornado event'? If so, what is it?

  • "Tornado event" means "There were probably several, but we don't want to freak you out by saying so baldly."
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    "Tornado event" means "There were probably several, but we don't want to freak you out by saying so baldly."
    Actually, he had already said there were four tornadoes, so I’m not sure the concern was about freaking people out. It was probably too late to avoid that.

    But yes, “tornado event” meant “the occurrence of several tornadoes at roughly the same time.”

  • I don’t understand why the workers were still in the factories, aren’t there supposed to be alerts and underground shelter. Does this mean their employers were neglecting safety measures ?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Thank you. That usage doesn't really exist here. As 'event' is singular, it doesn't convey there being more than one of them, whereas making it plural would just make it sound superfluous. I think we'd draw that distinction slightly differently, possible by being more explicit, 'several tornados', 'multiple tornados' or even 'a series of tornados'.

  • I am not sure that’s true, “mass casualty event” is a thing (which usually means several things went fubar at once like the London tube bombings). https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/clinical-guidelines-for-major-incidents-and-mass-casualty-events/
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Thank you. That usage doesn't really exist here. As 'event' is singular, it doesn't convey there being more than one of them, whereas making it plural would just make it sound superfluous.
    It’s a (weather) event comprising and defined by multiple tornadoes.

    But I suspect it may be overthinking it try and make this a Pond Difference.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    "Tornado event" means "There were probably several, but we don't want to freak you out by saying so baldly."
    Actually, he had already said there were four tornadoes, so I’m not sure the concern was about freaking people out. It was probably too late to avoid that.

    But yes, “tornado event” meant “the occurrence of several tornadoes at roughly the same time.”

    And "tornado event" is ever so much easier to say multiple times in a newscast than "the occurrence of several probably-related tornadoes at roughly the same time."
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Thank you. That usage doesn't really exist here. As 'event' is singular, it doesn't convey there being more than one of them, whereas making it plural would just make it sound superfluous. I think we'd draw that distinction slightly differently, possible by being more explicit, 'several tornados', 'multiple tornados' or even 'a series of tornados'.

    The "event" is indeed singular--it refers to the entire storm-characterized-by-tornadoes event, just as you might refer to a music festival with several bands playing throughout the day as an event (or, God forbid, a "concert event"). It's crappy language, yes, but you can see why he chose it. There's nothing like bureaucratese for stultifying excited people and putting them right to sleep.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Thank you. That usage doesn't really exist here. As 'event' is singular, it doesn't convey there being more than one of them, whereas making it plural would just make it sound superfluous. I think we'd draw that distinction slightly differently, possible by being more explicit, 'several tornados', 'multiple tornados' or even 'a series of tornados'.

    There was just the one event, as I read the posts. One event consisting of four tornados.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    The "event" is indeed singular--it refers to the entire storm-characterized-by-tornadoes event, just as you might refer to a music festival with several bands playing throughout the day as an event (or, God forbid, a "concert event"). It's crappy language, yes, but you can see why he chose it. There's nothing like bureaucratese for stultifying excited people and putting them right to sleep.
    That's beginning to make the usage sound as though the state governor was claiming he arranged it for the benefit of the citizens! Which of course he wasn't.

    It reminds me a bit of the official warnings one sees posted on some rural car parks, 'thieves are operating in this area'. They make it sound as though the thieves are an additional benefit being provided along with the litter bin or the scenic view. Or as one of my neighbours commented when we were talking about there being some fairly nasty colds etc going round at the moment as well as Covid, 'other diseases are available'.

  • We get some of our weather described as events in the UK - The Beast from the East was described as a weather event at the time, and looking for evidence, there's this headline from Cambridge News from January 2021: Beast from the East 2021: Met Office warns two weather events could bring cold, wet weather to UK or the Met Office page entitled Past UK Weather Events, where Storm Arwen is listed as the most recent weather event, and the Beast from the East features, but as Snow and low temperatures February to March 2018.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    We get some of our weather described as events in the UK - The Beast from the East was described as a weather event at the time, and looking for evidence, there's this headline from Cambridge News from January 2021: Beast from the East 2021: Met Office warns two weather events could bring cold, wet weather to UK or the Met Office page entitled Past UK Weather Events, where Storm Arwen is listed as the most recent weather event, and the Beast from the East features, but as Snow and low temperatures February to March 2018.
    Yebbut, that just sounds like rhetoric, either the media or somebody's media spokesperson adding unnecessary verbiage to hype up the news.


  • Apparently an extreme weather event is a specific meteorological term that's complicated to define, but this University of Nottingham blog post attempts to do so, and the National Geographic here discusses what qualifies as weather events.

    (I went looking for this as my daughter used have lectures in a hall following meteorology lectures and had seen the term defined on the white boards, as they were being cleaned off.)
  • I think you get a similar issue with astronomical events. I guess they can be loosely described as a single happening, but things like meteor showers are multiple. Of course, you might get into a philosophical discussion, about when is anything truly single, for example, the collapse of a star has lots of things happening and can take thousands of years..
  • I forgot to say that "event" is grammatically singular, but not therefore semantically.
  • Do you have 'experiences' in the States? Our Vicar started putting on a 'Christmas Experience' for a few years, prior to Covid, to portray in Advent the concept of Roman-occupied Judaea in contemporary terms (barbed wire, bariers, passports) with fairly obvious parallels with present-day Palestine. At least we have been spared that for the last two years.
    On the other hand a heritage railway which I support has been forced by Covid restrictions to stop operating a normal train service and instead to run a set of 'train ride 'experiences, to the distress of afficionados.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    Do you have 'experiences' in the States? Our Vicar started putting on a 'Christmas Experience' for a few years, prior to Covid, to portray in Advent the concept of Roman-occupied Judaea in contemporary terms (barbed wire, bariers, passports) with fairly obvious parallels with present-day Palestine. At least we have been spared that for the last two years.
    On the other hand a heritage railway which I support has been forced by Covid restrictions to stop operating a normal train service and instead to run a set of 'train ride 'experiences, to the distress of afficionados.

    Our son has a Nativity Scene he bought while in Palestine that has a West Bank Barrier going through the creche.

    BTW, that tornado event had thirty eight tornados in it with one staying on the ground for at least 240 miles.
  • Face it, "event" and "experience" in the usages are equivalent to "thingy". As in "that tornado thingy we had last night."
  • If you organized a concert stage with a bunch of musicians, and food booths, and portable toilets, and security guards and a bunch of janitors to clean up afterwards, would it not be an "event"? Even though many different things went on, and many different performing acts? Answers on a postcard.
  • Well, it would be an event, but I'd have thought "concert" would have been a little clearer. 'cause a political rally is also an event, as is a wedding, as is a horse race, as is an academic conference ...
  • Or a festival, because @mousethief's description sounds like a lot of open air one day festivals.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    And let's not even go near Eventing.
  • Well, it would be an event, but I'd have thought "concert" would have been a little clearer. 'cause a political rally is also an event, as is a wedding, as is a horse race, as is an academic conference ...

    I didn't say it was the only word you'd use on your posters. Only that it's accurate.
  • For some reason or other, while reading the infuriating thread, I found myself recalling my irritation with the creeping American version of "wort" as in herbs. To my ears, taught by my botanist mother, it belongs with similarly spelled words such as "word", "world", "worm", "worth", "work", and "worse". Not with the outlier "worn", and the same sound as "wart".
    There was one TV programme with a botanical person who went to interview an older botanist about St John's Wort, and while he was with her, used the usual British pronounciation, but back in his lab slid back to "wart". I find it irritating.
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.
  • H'm, When I was a member of the Cadet corps in a public school, I regularly received the command 'Company will advance in column of route (pronounced 'rout') - Quick March!' I assume that is the military, or perhaps Brigade of Guards, pronunciation, probably dating back to the eighteenth century, before American and British usage drifted apart. No doubt those in polite society in Britain adopted the French word for road.
  • The most commin pronunciation in New Brunswick, Canada is "root".
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    As in normal BrEnglish a 'rout', pronounced that way, is something no military organisation wants to suffer, that's odd. A 'route march' is normally here a 'root march'. 'Route' is normally and invariably pronounced 'root' here. It wasn't until one started to hear US speakers talking about an internet connection as a 'rowter', that I realised that anyone said anything other than 'root' or 'rooter'. It sounded really odd and was quite a surprise.

  • But the song is Root 66 not Rowt 66. So maybe it’s regional?
  • Penny S wrote: »
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.

    The network device (router) is pronounced "rooter" and what it does is "root" (route) traffic. The rotary woodworking tool (router) is a "rowter" and what it does is "rowt" (rout) wood.

  • Penny S wrote: »
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.

    The network device (router) is pronounced "rooter" and what it does is "root" (route) traffic. . . .
    I’ve never heard anyone pronounce that device as “rooter,” and I suspect that were someone to pronounce it that way, no one, at least where I live, would have any clue as to what they were talking about.

  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Penny S wrote: »
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.

    The network device (router) is pronounced "rooter" and what it does is "root" (route) traffic. . . .
    I’ve never heard anyone pronounce that device as “rooter,” and I suspect that were someone to pronounce it that way, no one, at least where I live, would have any clue as to what they were talking about.

    It’s ‘rooter’ here. (roo-tuh) A “rowter” would make no sense.

    Maybe one who causes a rout - or a row?
    As in - “Rout" is often used to mean "an overwhelming defeat" as well as "to put to disorderly retreat" or "to defeat utterly".
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Penny S wrote: »
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.

    The network device (router) is pronounced "rooter" and what it does is "root" (route) traffic. . . .
    I’ve never heard anyone pronounce that device as “rooter,” and I suspect that were someone to pronounce it that way, no one, at least where I live, would have any clue as to what they were talking about.

    It's normal in UK IT circles.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    Boogie wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Penny S wrote: »
    With an American speaker I'm fine, as when hearing "route" pronounced as "rout" instead of "root". But from a British speaker it grates.

    The network device (router) is pronounced "rooter" and what it does is "root" (route) traffic. . . .
    I’ve never heard anyone pronounce that device as “rooter,” and I suspect that were someone to pronounce it that way, no one, at least where I live, would have any clue as to what they were talking about.

    It’s ‘rooter’ here. (roo-tuh) A “rowter” would make no sense.
    While where I am, it’s “rooter” that likely would make no sense. I’m not surprised it’s the usual pronunciation in the UK, but I’ve never heard American IT folks use it. It’s consistently “rowter” that I hear.

    Folks here know that “root” is an . . . alternative :lol: . . . pronunciation of route, and easily recognize either pronunciation. But in the form of router, I think the pronunciation of “rooter” would likely be assumed to refer to a device for dealing with invasive roots, à la Roto-Rooter.

  • Yes, I've only ever heard it pronounced "rowter".
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