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Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Head over heels.

    Ass over tea kettle.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    Head over heels.

    Ass over tea kettle.

    Whoops -- wrong spot. However, here in New England, "pled" is common. There's another term getting replaced with some neologism, but I can't quite recall it at the mo.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Naw, we'll all have Babel Fish* in our ears to translate everything! ;)

    *Reference to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (H2G2) by Douglas Adams.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Gee D wrote: »
    Agree with you about "dove". I can't recall ever hearing it used seriously as an alternative to "dived".

    That's what we say here. I have never heard "dived" other than reading it in books.
  • New question... I've read in various English books that a person "doesn't know he was born." What the heck does that mean? I kind of get the gist of it from the context, but it makes no sense to this confused 'Merican.
    :grey_question:
  • Dwi’n dysgu siarad gymraeg.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    ...which means?
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    New question... I've read in various English books that a person "doesn't know he was born." What the heck does that mean? I kind of get the gist of it from the context, but it makes no sense to this confused 'Merican.
    :grey_question:

    I would parse that as 'You are so unaware of your favourable circumstances as to make one doubt you have actually attained sentience'.

  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Elegantly put Firenze. "You don't know how lucky you are," would be another way of putting it.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Dwi’n dysgu siarad gymraeg.

    Finnau hefyd

    [NEM announced they are learning to speak Welsh. I replied that I too am doing so]
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Elegantly puFirenze. "You don't know how lucky you are," would be another way of putting it.

    Yes; the implication to me was always that you've had such a cushy life with so little pain that you haven't actually noticed you're alive. It's what northern relatives traditionally say after telling you they died of Spanish flu when they were 3, had to work 17 hour shifts at t'mill from the age of 9, but still fit in school and be in bed by 8 or they'd get a reet hiding and how they lived in a hole in the road covered with a cardboard sheet shared with 17 other families and there's thee hollering cause tha 'ad to work while 7 today tha doesn't know that's born...
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    On the JB2 thread, mousethief said: "Apparently what's good for the goose is NOT good for the drake." On this side of the pond it would be: "Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander". The meaning is absolutely the same; I wonder why the word changes.
  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    Forthview wrote: »
    Many people now make the one word past tense to be 'sung' as in' he sung a song'.
    Tennyson does it in Mariana. ('The blue fly sung in the pane'.)

  • Tennyson came from Lincolnshire.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    [gentle hostly nudge]
    If anyone posts in a language other than English, please add a translation!
    (Thank you, KarlLB for the translation of not entirely me's post.)
    [/nudge]
    jedijudy-Heaven Host
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Drake (in British English) is a male duck, gander a male goose. (I assumed mousethief was just playing with the trope.)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    'Gander' it says here, was a 17th C usage for 'wander aimlessly'. But in Ireland you dander, not gander.

    Does anyone still take a gander?
  • 'Take a gander' meant 'have a look' when I was growing up (in the home counties, UK).
  • On the JB2 thread, mousethief said: "Apparently what's good for the goose is NOT good for the drake." On this side of the pond it would be: "Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander". The meaning is absolutely the same; I wonder why the word changes.
    The usual American version is, in my experience, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Given the context, like BroJames, I assumed mousethief was just playing with the saying by alluding to Dishey’s Professor Ludwig von Drake.

  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The usual American version is, in my experience, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Given the context, like BroJames, I assumed mousethief was just playing with the saying by alluding to Dishey’s Professor Ludwig von Drake.
    I suppose this thread isn't the best place for such wordplay, since we're learning about differences in just such things.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Ah. so the difference lies in the sauce!
  • Thanks for all the "doesn't know he was born" explanations.

    Pigwidgeon, who, being an owl, was hatched rather than born.
    :smile:
  • My husband assures me regularly that everyone in heaven speaks Vietnamese.

    I understand that English is the language of Hell. Or so he says...

    I would have guessed American.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    More likely Bureaucrat-speak and Politician-speak. However, since I'm a universalist, I believe either there's no hell or no one is there. So perhaps legislative and gov't buildings with automated recordings on loudspeakers.
    ;)
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    My husband assures me regularly that everyone in heaven speaks Vietnamese.

    I understand that English is the language of Hell. Or so he says...

    I would have guessed American.

    Ooh goody! Pond wars!
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    As may have been mentioned on this thread before, we are most anxious to avoid pond wars, or any inter-country wars at all. References to what language is spoken in the nether regions might be best avoided unless everyone can agree to treat it as a joke.
  • There is no doubt, in fact, that here in the Nether Regions we speak Dutch.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I tend to put courtesy to wait staff on a par with things like thanking the bus driver. Yes, some wait staff can be a bit much at times, but for the most part they’re doing a job that, like any job requiring dealing with the public, can be challenging and for which they likely aren’t paid enough. The least I can do is smile and say “thank you” every time they check in on the table, refill my glass, etc.

    But don't you hate it when a wait person refills your wine glass without asking you first? It's our wine, it may be an expensive treat for us, we can probably only afford one bottle, so we will choose how and when we want to drink it. We don't want to be nudged into having a second bottle because you have kept on topping our glasses up before we were ready.



  • Sparrow wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I tend to put courtesy to wait staff on a par with things like thanking the bus driver. Yes, some wait staff can be a bit much at times, but for the most part they’re doing a job that, like any job requiring dealing with the public, can be challenging and for which they likely aren’t paid enough. The least I can do is smile and say “thank you” every time they check in on the table, refill my glass, etc.

    But don't you hate it when a wait person refills your wine glass without asking you first? It's our wine, it may be an expensive treat for us, we can probably only afford one bottle, so we will choose how and when we want to drink it. We don't want to be nudged into having a second bottle because you have kept on topping our glasses up before we were ready.
    I see what you mean. But I can't remember the last time I ordered a bottle of wine in a restaurant. On the rare occasions that I order wine, I typically order it by the glass.

    But were the wait staff start to refill my glass of whatever when I would prefer they didn't, I'd have no problem gesturing with my hand and saying "I'm fine for now. Thank you, though."


  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    I agree about refilling wine glasses. (When I go out to dinner, it's usually with friends who share common tastes, so a bottle makes the best sense.) Even worse: staff who clear plates off the table as each individual finishes eating, rather than waiting until all are done. I have a dear nonagenarian friend who refuses to let them have her plate until the slowest in the company is ready. Bless her.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    My husband assures me regularly that everyone in heaven speaks Vietnamese.

    I understand that English is the language of Hell. Or so he says...

    I would have guessed American.

    Ooh goody! Pond wars!

    The topic of this thread is that Brits and Americans don't speak the same language. The Brits did not fight a 20 year war in IndoChina, The Americans did. Thus, I would have thought the Vietnamese would think American is the language of hell.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    It's my husband saying this, people. He is obviously trying to needle his American English-speaking wife. No more than that. Sheesh.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    I got it, LC. ;)
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The topic of this thread is that Brits and Americans don't speak the same language.
    That's a joke. A witticism. It's not that they speak two literally different languages. Clearly they don't. Get it now?
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Dwi’n dysgu siarad gymraeg.

    Finnau hefyd

    [NEM announced they are learning to speak Welsh. I replied that I too am doing so]

    Thank you for translating!
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    A small difference. 2.15 is "quarter past Two," in the UK, but "quarter after Two," in the USA.

    When I was in Australia, and talked about "half Two" folk didn't know if I meant 1.30 or 2.30. Would that also cause confusion in the States?
  • A small difference. 2.15 is "quarter past Two," in the UK, but "quarter after Two," in the USA.
    Not necessarily. I’m in the American South and am used to hearing “quarter past.”
    When I was in Australia, and talked about "half Two" folk didn't know if I meant 1.30 or 2.30. Would that also cause confusion in the States?
    Most folks here would have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Yes.
  • Nor here.
  • Maybe a Scot can clarify something for me with regard to telling the time?

    Normally, you would hear the 'half past two' or 'a quarter past five' language. But sometimes people will say something like: 'he was there off the back of half three' or 'it was the back of four o'clock' before he arrived. I kind of think I know what it means - but I may be wrong!

    Exactly, what does it mean, pray?
  • hahaha
    "the back of", in my experience, seems to be anywhere between 5 minutes before and 20 minutes after, but I'm sure a fellow Scot will confirm their own understanding.

    going back to the "half 3" - to a Brit this is 3:30, (half past 3) but to a German (just to add in another language) this would be 2:30 (halfway to 3) - and in fact in German 2:45 would be "3 quarters (of) 3
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    There’s a certain logic to that. 2.00 marks the completion of the second hour. What follows is the third hour - a half of it, a quarter of it, three quarters of it. Indeed by the same logic, 2.03 might be described as three minutes of three rather than three minutes past two.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    As I'm sure we've all said, when confronted with an issue like this, "But isn't it obvious?.!
  • It's odd to see 2:03 written as 2.03. It's always a colon here.

    Canadians are in trouble with date formats. The historical use is DD-MM-YY so that 12 Sept 2019 (which is Sept 12, 2019 more often) is 12-09-19. But in the USA context they do 09-12-19. So we get both and it is individualist. The computers don't have Canadian English, so they like to do the American, and it takes some tinkering with things to set it right. The federal government uses YYYY-MM-DD or 2019-09-12. I generally use a 3 word abbreviation instead 12 Sep 2019. So I do not know when some birthdays or meeting are.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    For those unfamiliar with the usage "half two": Comedian Steve Patterson has a funny bit about this. While touring in Ireland, he planned to meet with other comedians at a pub. Puzzled by the invitation to be there at "half two", he "used his Canadian logic and arrived at the pub at one o'clock. And then started drinking, with Irish people, in Ireland, ninety minutes before everyone else got there."
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    A small difference. 2.15 is "quarter past Two," in the UK, but "quarter after Two," in the USA.
    Not necessarily. I’m in the American South and am used to hearing “quarter past.” ...
    I was brought up with the "past" usage. No doubt I learned it from the Mater, a child of the Low Country.


  • Apologies if I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone has yet mentioned this blog, which may be of interest to readers of this thread. New posts are not very frequent these days, but there's quite a large archive.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    The American way of recording dates does mystify me. It seems to me that units should be in a sequence: short, medium, long, or long, medium, short. When you do month, day, year you seem to me to be scrambling things.
  • The American way of recording dates does mystify me. It seems to me that units should be in a sequence: short, medium, long, or long, medium, short. When you do month, day, year you seem to me to be scrambling things.
    I assume that the reason we (Americans) would write today as 9/26/19 is because we'd normally say that today is September 26th (or write September 26, 2019), not 26 September. In other words, we put the numbers in the order we'd say the date—month, day, year.

  • Today has been: “Thursday (the) 26th (of) September”. Brackets are the parts we’d add to say the date. The other words are how you’d write it in full (like in a primary school exercise book!).

    When I take notes at work I write 26-9-19 but I’d read it as “the 26th of September.”

    Saying, “September 26th” sounds wrong and I’ve only come across it on American television.

    (Sorry if I’ve muddled my punctuation marks - it’s hard to express these things in a purely text form!)
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