Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    In the Canadian English with which I'm familiar, it was drilled into our heads that it is always and ever and only "different from" and "similar to."

    The teacher explained that similar is accompanied by "to" because it is as if similar things converge toward each other, while different things diverge away from each other. The British English habit of "different to" is noticeable to me.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    ;) It's never "different to", just "from" or "than". ;)

    {Walks away, muttering "What do they teach them in those schools these days???"}
  • I hear all three. It would be interesting to see how they all work in different contexts, no, I'm retired now. I think 'from' is dying out in speech, but not writing, despite protests.
  • Only from is right. It's a comparison separating two things, not bringing them together.
  • Readers Digest has done several articles on the difference between British English and American English. Here is an article about British phrases that confuse Americans
  • They clearly use "shotgun" in a different way than I am used to. Here it exclusively means sitting in the front seat while somebody else drives. To claim something as yours, you use "dibs". Also "dilly-dally" here means to take your time to excess, especially if you need to go somewhere.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Little history behind the name place: Spokane, WA. Originally it was spelled "Spokan" but an early postmaster added the "e". Why? no body knows. Still pronounced Spokan by the locals. You stand out like a foreigner if you pronoun it with a long A.
    I went the world's fair there in 1974. They told us the city was named for an indigenous tribe. And that neither spelling nor the current pronunciation is accurate.
  • I was at that World Fair. Of course I was 12 years old so I don't remember much.
  • Spotted a new one today. In an American novel the main character is "embarrassed of her mother". I wondered if it was a typo, but the phrase was repeated several times. Is this common American usage? I would say "embarrassed by".

    I've never seen this, and suspect it is an idiosyncrasy of the author.
  • It smells of an attempt to be writing what the author thought was early C19 English.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    IME, both structures of "embarrassed" ("of" and "by) are used. E.g., "The kids are embarrassed of being seen with their parents".
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    In that context I would say, “The kids are embarrassed at (or about*) being seen with their parents.” (*I think there’s a shade of difference between these, but I can’t put my finger on it.
  • There's also a variation of 'I was embarrassed for her', meaning that the person who's accompanying you is behaving in an embarrassing way and letting everyone down around her; but you're trying to distance yourself from her behaviour, as if to say, 'I felt sorry for her, because she didn't know how to behave herself in company, and we were all mortified by what she did. I was that embarrassed for her.'
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    There's also a variation of 'I was embarrassed for her', meaning that the person who's accompanying you is behaving in an embarrassing way and letting everyone down around her; but you're trying to distance yourself from her behaviour, as if to say, 'I felt sorry for her, because she didn't know how to behave herself in company, and we were all mortified by what she did. I was that embarrassed for her.'

    Reminds me of a version of “I will survive” that was reputedly done in a long gone pub called The Good Times Bar in Dublin - “Furst I was afrayed, I was mortified” :smiley:
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Anselmina wrote: »
    There's also a variation of 'I was embarrassed for her', meaning that the person who's accompanying you is behaving in an embarrassing way and letting everyone down around her; but you're trying to distance yourself from her behaviour, as if to say, 'I felt sorry for her, because she didn't know how to behave herself in company, and we were all mortified by what she did. I was that embarrassed for her.'

    Reminds me of a version of “I will survive” that was reputedly done in a long gone pub called The Good Times Bar in Dublin - “Furst I was afrayed, I was mortified” :smiley:

    Oh, I've been there! (The emotion, not the pub.)
  • I think "embarrassed of" is a formation that is gaining currency.
  • The length of vowel sounds is a marker of
    mousethief wrote: »
    I was at that World Fair. Of course I was 12 years old so I don't remember much.

    Are you that kid I was embarrassed from/for/to/ at? I don't recall why. :wink:

    I actually recall a lot of it. Canadian dollar was worth more than the American. We camped bedside a garbage dump. Spokane had reclaimed a pretty ugly industrial area to stage the fair. The theme was the The environment. The best pavilion was Czech which had a virtual movie where humans interacted with the film and could change it.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    The best pavilion was Czech which had a virtual movie where humans interacted with the film and could change it.

    That sounds amazing, even by contemporary standards. How did they do that?
  • For the past few years I've noticed that in Deaths notices in The Times people are "father/ mother to" rather than "father/ mother of": correct or incorrect isn't the point, it just sounds off.
  • For the past few years I've noticed that in Deaths notices in The Times people are "father/ mother to" rather than "father/ mother of": correct or incorrect isn't the point, it just sounds off.

    I've seen this for years. I wonder if people think it's a sort of "proper" form for memorials; a bit like legal formula like 'thereunto I set my hand this tenth day of September' and so on and so forth.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I've seen this for years. I wonder if people think it's a sort of "proper" form for memorials; a bit like legal formula like 'thereunto I set my hand this tenth day of September' and so on and so forth.

    I see a fair amount of "Nanna to A and B, and Granny to C and D" where the names are obviously however the grandkids referred to the recently deceased.
  • The best pavilion was Czech which had a virtual movie where humans interacted with the film and could change it.

    That sounds amazing, even by contemporary standards. How did they do that?
    They had a small audience and characters on stage. You could volunteer to be in it. You did your part and then the group would decide what you did next, and the movie would accommodate to it. I don't know how they did it, but it was way cool. This is long before computers. I had seen a nixie tube calculator by that time, was cool tech at the time, steam punk if had one today. (We were using slide rules.)
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    An Americanism that is becoming common over here is that people no longer "die", they "pass". I don't like it. Much as I believe in the Communion of Saints, here and now I also believe in the finality of death, and think that needs to be faced.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    For the past few years I've noticed that in Deaths notices in The Times people are "father/ mother to" rather than "father/ mother of"
    I would have attributed this to blended families, and separating the roles of biological and functional parent. Therefore one can be "father of X" without ever having been a "father to X", and vice versa, IYSWIM.

  • For the past few years I've noticed that in Deaths notices in The Times people are "father/ mother to" rather than "father/ mother of": correct or incorrect isn't the point, it just sounds off.

    I think the "father/mother to" is because they might be step-parents or adopted or whatever (or not -- "to" covers all the bases).
  • An Americanism that is becoming common over here is that people no longer "die", they "pass". I don't like it. Much as I believe in the Communion of Saints, here and now I also believe in the finality of death, and think that needs to be faced.

    Amen! "Pass" seems to be the sort of verb that need an object, e.g., "Do not pass go."

    People seem hesitant to use the word "die" -- there are SO many euphemisms. When I die, if the funeral home says I "entered into rest" I'm going to come back and haunt them. I enter into rest every night (and sometime for an afternoon nap). I would rather they say I kicked the bucket or cashed in my chips than use that term. I'm leaving instructions saying that, when the time comes, I will DIE.
    :rage:
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.” Or “Y fell from the tenth floor of the tower block, and paramedics found he had passed away.”
  • BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.”
    Not to mention the grammar—"he sadly passed away."

  • BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.” Or “Y fell from the tenth floor of the tower block, and paramedics found he had passed away.”
    There is another annoyance "Mr X's car crashed into...." All by itself then? The car had murderous intent? Better "Mr X crashed his car...."

    I'm reading reports where police or ambulances "activated emergency equipment" which means turned on the siren and lights. Also "IED - improvised explosive device" which means "home-made bomb".
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.”
    Not to mention the grammar—"he sadly passed away."

    The grammar's fine; that's one of the ways adverbs are used in English, regardless how some people think they should be.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Only from is right. It's a comparison separating two things, not bringing them together.
    Gower in Plain Words (UK English 1954), or maybe Fraser (as the version I know is the 1973 revision) says that in British English 'different to' and 'different from' are equally correct (and mean the same) whereas 'different than' is an Americanism.

  • KarlLB wrote: »
    The grammar's fine; that's one of the ways adverbs are used in English, regardless how some people think they should be.
    I would agree adverbs are often used that way, and I'm generally a descriptivist. But this is one of those instances where the placement of the adverb can make meaning ambiguous. Perhaps instead of grammar, I should have said clarity.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Yes. I ought to have added a couple of commas for clarity.
  • There is another annoyance "Mr X's car crashed into...." All by itself then? The car had murderous intent? Better "Mr X crashed his car...."

    "Mr X's car crashed into..." is a statement of physics. "Mr X crashed his car into..." lays the blame for the incident on Mr X, and opens the writer to legal action. If, for example, the cause of the crash was a manufacturing defect in the brake system, the first statement is still true, and the second statement is libel.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    An Americanism that is becoming common over here is that people no longer "die", they "pass". I don't like it. Much as I believe in the Communion of Saints, here and now I also believe in the finality of death, and think that needs to be faced.
    "Passed" is marginally better than "went to live in heaven with Jesus," but only marginally. I plan to die, too. (I also plan to write my own death notice; the obit is basically done.)
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    ...People seem hesitant to use the word "die" -- there are SO many euphemisms. When I die, if the funeral home says I "entered into rest" I'm going to come back and haunt them. I enter into rest every night (and sometime for an afternoon nap). I would rather they say I kicked the bucket or cashed in my chips than use that term. I'm leaving instructions saying that, when the time comes, I will DIE.
    Ahh-men.

    Another reason not to let the undertaker's people write the death notice is that they always put in a line or two advertising that they're handling the corpse and attendant arrangements. For what newspapers charge for those things (lots), that's outrageous. Write it yourself, and the savings will pay for a nice bottle of something for your mourners to enjoy.
    BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.”
    Well, they assume he did so sadly. Who knows? Perhaps he was chuffed to get all that attention.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    The grammar's fine; that's one of the ways adverbs are used in English, regardless how some people think they should be.
    No, "unfortunately" would work, but when a word can be taken in more than one way, it causes confusion, and should be avoided.


  • BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.” Or “Y fell from the tenth floor of the tower block, and paramedics found he had passed away.”

    In all fairness, I think they’d say “X died in the crash,” or something like that. At least the New York Times would.
  • There is another annoyance "Mr X's car crashed into...." All by itself then? The car had murderous intent? Better "Mr X crashed his car...."

    "Mr X's car crashed into..." is a statement of physics. "Mr X crashed his car into..." lays the blame for the incident on Mr X, and opens the writer to legal action. If, for example, the cause of the crash was a manufacturing defect in the brake system, the first statement is still true, and the second statement is libel.

    The car crashed into the bicycle.
    The driver hit the cyclist.

    [tangent]
    Notwithstanding - care and control of an automobile means in my jurisdiction that the driver is responsible for the crash. The driver might be able to blame brakes, but if they knew anything at all about them, not. I doubt libel applies. Care and control of a car establishes fault here. Fault is determined by the government insurance scheme (no fault benefits, lawsuits banned) not by a court and lawyers are thankfully completely excluded.
    [/tangent]
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    ECraigR wrote: »
    In all fairness, I think they’d say “X died in the crash,” or something like that. At least the New York Times would.
    One hopes. (And it's many fewer keystrokes, which makes a difference in these days of shrinking news holes.)


  • From the White Supremacy thread in Epiphanies:
    All may wish to note that this discussion is now in Epiphanies our forum to discuss issues where people are personally invested. You may wish to read the rules, if you are not familiar, as they are a little different than Purgatory.

    Gwai,
    Epiphanies Host
  • I doubt libel applies. Care and control of a car establishes fault here. Fault is determined by the government insurance scheme (no fault benefits, lawsuits banned) not by a court and lawyers are thankfully completely excluded.

    I understood that libel laws in Canada were more restrictive on speech than those in the UK. I don't see how a newspaper falsely asserting in print that a person caused a crash could be anything other than libelous.
    The car crashed into the bicycle.
    The driver hit the cyclist.

    Sure. They mean different things. The first statement just tells you that the car collided with the bicycle. The second attributes the cause to the car driver (or, of course, that the driver got out of his car and threw a punch.)

    Here's another example. Consider a bicycle stopped at a traffic light, and a car stopped behind it. Now imagine that the car gets rear-ended by another vehicle traveling at speed - a truck, say - and pushed into the bicycle.

    Did the car hit the bike? Yes, it did. Did the car hit the cyclist? Yes, it did.

    Did the driver of the car hit the cyclist? No, he didn't.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    ECraigR wrote: »
    In all fairness, I think they’d say “X died in the crash,” or something like that. At least the New York Times would.
    One hopes. (And it's many fewer keystrokes, which makes a difference in these days of shrinking news holes.)

    In further fairness, I should have more personal insight as to post about this item: I was recently hit by a driver, whose car hit my bicycle., viz., https://forums.shipoffools.com/discussion/comment/189526/#Comment_189526

    Sorry.
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    The euphemism is particularly bizarre in some circumstances. “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker, and in the ensuing fireball, which was seen from 10 miles off, he sadly passed away.” Or “Y fell from the tenth floor of the tower block, and paramedics found he had passed away.”

    In all fairness, I think they’d say “X died in the crash,” or something like that. At least the New York Times would.
    The New York Times, yes. A Southern, small-town paper, maybe and maybe not.
  • An Americanism that is becoming common over here is that people no longer "die", they "pass". I don't like it. Much as I believe in the Communion of Saints, here and now I also believe in the finality of death, and think that needs to be faced.
    Do you think that someone who says "my aunt passed this last week" thinks it's not final?
    Dafyd wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Only from is right. It's a comparison separating two things, not bringing them together.
    Gower in Plain Words (UK English 1954), or maybe Fraser (as the version I know is the 1973 revision) says that in British English 'different to' and 'different from' are equally correct (and mean the same) whereas 'different than' is an Americanism.
    It's a barbarism. Not spoken anywhere within the sound of my hearing.
    The car crashed into the bicycle.
    The driver hit the cyclist.
    The driver didn't hit the cyclist, the car did. Unless the driver got out of the car and gave the cyclist a whupping.
  • I'm not fond of the new and hopefully never-to-be-used again formation "leave" for "die." I'm hearing this on those horrible life insurance ads that pop up on daytime TV (overhearing, I wouldn't watch those things if you paid me). "when I leave" -- feh. "When I die" is more honest, and "When I go" more colloquial. "When I leave" sounds like I'm ghosting the hostess at a cocktail party.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    ... “Mr X’s car crashed into the side of a petroleum tanker," ....
    Does that, or even "Mr X drove into the side of a petroleum tanker" automatically imply guilt on the part of Mr X?

    The phrase could just as easily be used where the tanker had suddenly pulled out of a side road into his path without looking.

  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    "My aunt passed last week" makes me think she's got through her driving test. YMMV.
  • Similarly "Bored of".

  • "My aunt passed last week" makes me think she's got through her driving test. YMMV.

    I think my mind must be a strange mix of euphemism and the scatological - it makes me think 'passed what'? :smile:

  • On the subject of death, one usage that needles me is the word 'casket'. On this side of the pond, it's 'coffin'. Like the bathroom/lavatory divide,I suppose.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    On the subject of death, one usage that needles me is the word 'casket'. On this side of the pond, it's 'coffin'. Like the bathroom/lavatory divide,I suppose.

    We have both words, but "casket" sounds old-fashioned, 19th century even.
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