Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    I’m happy to be corrected if I have this wrong, but my impression has been that UKians are more likely to say “the 26th of September.” (Or maybe even “26th September”? Or am I completely imagining that?)

    Cross-posted with @not entirely me, who seems to have mostly confirmed what I thought. not entirely me, you hear “September 26th” on American TV because that’s how we’d typically say it—the Fourth of July being the obvious exception. (Although we also say “July Fourth.”)
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    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.

    I agree. That’s how everyone I know would say the date. Would that be different in the UK?

    Yes I think so. Most often we would say '26th of September' rather than 'September 26th'. But both are understood.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    edited September 2019
    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?
    Yes. Although if you said "halb sieben" (literally "half seven") I would know what you meant, since I studied German.
  • I hear people here saying twenty-six September. They leave the "th" out. Not always, and if I don't listen for it, my mind's ear includes the "th". They also say the year as two-nineteen. Not bothering with the extra syllable required to say twenty

  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Here in my experience people are very unlikely to put the number before the month. You'll more commonly hear September twenty-sixth.
  • I'm a life-long American, but I almost always write "26 September" (or whatever the appropriate date), and always write it that way on checks/cheques.
  • 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.” ...
    I agree.

    To me in speech, leaving out the 'the' the '...th' - I think that's technically described as using a cardinal rather than an ordinal number - and the 'of' just sounds a bit odd. It jars.

    A curious point an Australian made to me a few years ago, was that in the UK, he noticed we are much more likely than in Australia to use fractions, and to refer to quarters, fifths, eighths etc rather than say '.25', '.2' .125' etc.

    A usage of the BBC that irritates me is 'one half of one per cent'. To me, that's uncouth. The correct form is 'half a per cent'.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    A usage of the BBC that irritates me is 'one half of one per cent'. To me, that's uncouth. The correct form is 'half a per cent'.
    Seems to me the BBC has it right. “Half a per cent” means “half a per hundred.” Half of what per hundred? The answer is half of one per hundred.

  • I hear people here saying twenty-six September. They leave the "th" out. Not always, and if I don't listen for it, my mind's ear includes the "th". They also say the year as two-nineteen. Not bothering with the extra syllable required to say twenty

    Similarly I hate it when TV adverts say "sale ends 26 September" rather than the more common British usage "26th of September." I always want to shriek at the TV "what, the world will end on 26 September??"

  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    edited September 2019
    I would say 'September the 26th'. (I.e. with the 'the'.) My idiolect may not be 100% UK.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Having thought about this briefly, I'm not aware of a standard way we Brits talk about the date. 26th of September and September 26th are, I think, both common and easily understood.

    To complicate matters, and to argue against my earlier post, writing a date out in full, as I did above, works either way round. It's only as 26/9/19 that the order is fixed.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    ...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.
    Agreed. I prefer the British system: 26/9/19. However, I'm also good with the system we used to have at work: 19/09/26. It just makes more sense to me.

  • Grades is school. Grade one, grade two etc.

    In highschool grade nine to grade 12. (Primary school is grades 1 to 8)

    University is first year, second year, third, fourth.

    I hear the terms junior, sophomore etc and cannot keep them straight.

    Is "prom" short for something? We don't call them that. "Grad" is the equivalent word. Which means "graduation banquet and dance".
  • Grades is school. Grade one, grade two etc.

    In highschool grade nine to grade 12. (Primary school is grades 1 to 8)

    In the US, that would be "ninth grade" through "twelfth grade" for high school. At least in most places.

    In the UK, the modern nomenclature has "Year 1, Year 2" and so on. Year 11, which is fifth form in old money, is when GCSE exams are usually taken. Most people continue on to the sixth form (years 12 and 13; traditionally lower sixth and upper sixth) and take A-levels, but other educational choices are available. Since 2013, some kind of formal education or apprenticeship has been compulsory until age 18.

    Before year 1 comes Reception (cf. US Kindergarten).
    I hear the terms junior, sophomore etc and cannot keep them straight.

    In the US, those are used for both the 4 years of high school and the 4 years of normal undergraduate college. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior in that order. The names don't make much sense to me, but that's often a feature of naming traditions.

    Is "prom" short for something? We don't call them that. "Grad" is the equivalent word. Which means "graduation banquet and dance".

    Yes, it's short for promenade. I don't think I know what differentiates a "promenade dance" from some other kind of dance, though.
  • “Prom” is derived from “promenade dance.”

    And here, we’d normally say first grade, second grade, etc., rather than grade 1, grade 2, etc.

    Freshman=someone in first year of high school (ninth grade) or first year of college
    Sophomore=someone in second year of high school (tenth grade) or second year of college
    Junior=someone in third year of high school (eleventh grade) or third year of college
    Senior=someone in fourth year of high school (twelfth grade) or fourth year of college.
  • Yes, it's short for promenade. I don't think I know what differentiates a "promenade dance" from some other kind of dance, though.
    I believe it has to do with how couples were traditionally presented.
  • Also different in Scotland rather than England.

    Primary 1, 2 etc (no reception or kindergarten) sometimes abbreviated to P1, P2 both in writing and speech.

    Then Secondary or Senior 1,2 up to 6. Sometimes just referred to in secondary school as ‘first year, second year...’

    I’ve lived in England for over 20 years and still revert to talking about children starting “primary one” and sitting GCSEs in “fourth year”...and get blank looks. In theory, with an American mother I’m trilingual in American/Scottish/English English - but its easy to get confused!
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Grades is school. Grade one, grade two etc. In highschool grade nine to grade 12. (Primary school is grades 1 to 8)

    I would have said "elementary school" (Grades 1-6), "junior high" (Grades 7-9), and "high school" (Grades 10-12). Sometimes the division is slightly different: elementary, "middle years" (Grades 6-9) and high school.

  • Leaf wrote: »
    Grades is school. Grade one, grade two etc. In highschool grade nine to grade 12. (Primary school is grades 1 to 8)

    I would have said "elementary school" (Grades 1-6), "junior high" (Grades 7-9), and "high school" (Grades 10-12). Sometimes the division is slightly different: elementary, "middle years" (Grades 6-9) and high school.
    Here it’s elementary school (K–5), middle school (6–8) and high school (9–12).

  • Elementary school is also said here. We have kindergarten. The year before that may be called play care or preschool and is optional, as is kindergarten.

    Schools here have banned pop (soft drinks is also used: things like Pepsi, Coca-Cola) and serve milk. You can can have 1%, 2% and homo milk. Homo means homogenized and 3¼% milk fat. There's been controversy whether they should have chocolate milk. The local name for choc milk is "vi-co" (the vowels are like in eye and owe) from a brand-name. I understand that homo milk and vi-co are local names.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...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.
    Agreed. I prefer the British system: 26/9/19. However, I'm also good with the system we used to have at work: 19/09/26. It just makes more sense to me.

    Strictly speaking, we would pad single digit months in the British system. My PC (EN-gb language setting) is currently showing 27/09/2019 and I'd expect to write either that or 27/09/19, depending on the situation. 27/9/19 would look wrong.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Is "prom" short for something? We don't call them that. "Grad" is the equivalent word. Which means "graduation banquet and dance".
    "Grad" here means "someone who has graduated". As in high school grad, college grad. Someone in college/university who has not achieved a Bachelor's degree is an "undergrad."
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Is "prom" short for something? We don't call them that. "Grad" is the equivalent word. Which means "graduation banquet and dance".
    "Grad" here means "someone who has graduated". As in high school grad, college grad.
    Or “grad student,” meaning someone working on a post-baccalaureate degree, or “grad school,” meaning a school offering those post-baccalaureate degrees.

  • I spent 15+ years in the military so grew accustomed to writing 26 September 2019. When people see something I have dated, they quite often ask me if I was in the military. On the other hand, I have grown away from the 24-hour clock.
  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    CJCfarwest wrote: »
    I’ve lived in England for over 20 years and still revert to talking about children starting “primary one” and sitting GCSEs in “fourth year”...and get blank looks.
    I remember secondary school in England working like that when I was at school, which was a bit longer ago than that. Although back then the Scots did secondary school a year earlier than the English (so I did most of my GCSEs in fifth year).
  • I've also noticed around here that "Grad" is used by those who are too lazy to use four syllables to mean "Graduation," e.g., Grad Night, Grad Party, or just Grad as a noun referring to the ceremony. "Are you going to Grad?"

    At the same time what we used to call "The Prom" is not just called "Prom."

    Maybe the shorter forms are easier to text, since that seems to be the #1 form of communication among that age group.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?

    "Television." But then again, I have very little reason to talk about it since I don't watch it.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?

    "Television." But then again, I have very little reason to talk about it since I don't watch it.

    Do you not use any shortened forms of any word then? That seems downright alien.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    In our house, it's the one word of Irish regularly spoken - teilifís. No idea why.
  • I'm old enough to have been at school under a very different numbering/naming system.

    Kindergarten (if you went) was just called "Miss X's", the same for infant school. Prep (the equivalent of Years 3-8) was First, Second, Upper Second, Third, Upper Third & Exam forms. Senior school was Fourth, Lower Fifth, Upper Fifth, Sixth & Upper Sixth (Years 9-13) and those who took Oxbridge entrance after A levels were called the Remove - why I haven't the foggiest but they were only at school for one term.

    It seemed to make sense at the time...
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?

    TV. I seem to remember when growing up that "telly" was frowned upon at least by my parents because it was "common".


  • In the circles in which I move, 'Proms' are concerts.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Originally the Promenade Concerts. According to Wikipedia it was
    a term which originally referred to outdoor concerts in London's pleasure gardens, where the audience was free to stroll around while the orchestra was playing
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Public (private) schools in the UK have their own names, of course. When I was at school I entered senior school (yr 7) in the Lower Fourth, and took my O Levels in the Upper Remove (yr 11). Westminster, I happen to know, calls yr 9 the Fifth Form, and yr 11 the Upper Shell. However, talk of sophomores etc has always confused me.

    On this topic, you only graduate from university in the UK, and that was the only time any fuss was made. These days most schools have a ball, or prom, after A Levels (yr 13), and some after GCSEs (yr 11), but that is fairly new. Kids today don't know how lucky they are....
  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    Senior school was Fourth, Lower Fifth, Upper Fifth, Sixth & Upper Sixth (Years 9-13)
    We had Upper Sixth for Secondary Seven, but IIRC Fourth and Fifth meant what one would expect.

  • edited September 2019
    My assisted place at a minor public school landed me in the second year (! - was the whole of the prep school the first, I don't know). After that I was put in a stream which was supposed to stick me through school a year early with everyone else spending a year in a 'remove' - but apparently oxbridge went off that idea and it was scrapped with me half in it (the idea, that is - oxbridge was well outside my capabilities). And then lower and upper sixth. Some sorry characters joined us in (the actual) 3rd year after their own prep schools kicked them out. All was presented as having dated from 15-whatever it was, but this bit of this thread seems to confirm what I suspected, that they were making it up as they went along. The only time I think of it now is reading the 'school magazine' bit of Private Eye, which is a great parody.

    Oh, and at my (modern) British university those working on research degrees or one-year masters degrees taken as add-ons to a bachelors degree, are known as postgrads.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Public (private) schools in the UK have their own names, of course. When I was at school I entered senior school (yr 7) in the Lower Fourth, and took my O Levels in the Upper Remove (yr 11). Westminster, I happen to know, calls yr 9 the Fifth Form, and yr 11 the Upper Shell. However, talk of sophomores etc has always confused me.

    On this topic, you only graduate from university in the UK, and that was the only time any fuss was made. These days most schools have a ball, or prom, after A Levels (yr 13), and some after GCSEs (yr 11), but that is fairly new. Kids today don't know how lucky they are....

    Or unlucky. As a nerd, geek, and fully paid up member of the Not Cool squad (i.e. shit at sports) the prospect of such an event would have filled me with terror. I'm not sure whether Backsliderlet #1's (year 11, GCSEs this school year) school even has one, because he has absolutely no interest in going to one.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    He sounds like he has his head screwed on correctly.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    We didn't have a prom (and they still don't) but for my generation there were dances for which pairs of schools (known as brother-and-sister FFS!) would collaborate. While this meant we all had dancing lessons - very useful in later life - the event itself was cringe-making: staff very much in evidence, girls on one side of the hall, boys on the other, very bright lighting, and both groups having been given (separately) a talk about maintaining a visible distance between you when you danced. Oh, and a live band (violins, etc, not anything you'd expect) on the stage to produce the waltzes, Cha-cha-chas, etc that we were meant to stumble our way through.

    Against all the odds I actually gained a girlfriend through one of these evenings of horror: it was the daughter of people I sort of knew from home, and I suspect she gravitated towards me for the same reason, which was not to be seen as a wallflower.

    Oh, and we wore tails and the girls were in ball dresses.
  • My high school had a prom. Several friends and I chose to go to an amusement park that evening instead. I think we had more fun.
    :mrgreen:
  • My son wouldn’t have been caught dead going to the prom. Daughter enjoyed hers both years.

    Since we’re talking terminology, in the specific corner of the world I grew up in, we usually called the dance in question “(the) Junior-Senior” (the article was optional) rather than “the prom.” We knew, of course, what people meant by “prom,” and “Junior-Senior” was short for “Junior-Senior prom” or “Junior-Senior dance.” As is still the norm in these parts, only juniors or seniors (or their dates) can attend. Juniors at least nominally “host” the dance to honor the seniors, and are responsible for decorations and music (which in my day meant hiring a band).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Annoy

    The current meaning seems to be Irritating, Minorly Disruptive. But I grew up with - and use - it to indicate quite deep feelings, of disappointment, sadness, regret.

    Older meaning, or one just peculiar to the Firenze household?
  • 'Minorly?' Would that be the opposite of 'Bigly'? I think on this side of the pond we'd say 'Mildly'.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    In the US, "minorly" is a colloquialism, and the opposite of "majorly". E.g., "That professor is majorly boring".
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I grew up with 'annoying' to be pretty much synonymous with 'irritating' or 'getting on my nerves.' I've never heard it being used with a stronger meaning, though have seen it in old literature. The OED has the stronger meaning, though says it's obsolete - guess the researchers hadn't met the Firenze household! :smile: It has the milder meaning too, though apparently that dates back to the 1200s, so not a new meaning.

    Now I'm also curious whether others use the stronger meaning. I suppose it's also one of those words where someone could be meaning it with a different definition from yours and you wouldn't always necessarily know - you could be assuming they meant it more strongly or more weakly than they were.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?

    I just grew up hearing my mother (b 1919 in rural Ireland) saying 'I'm annoyed' - or 'I'm that annoyed about X' in a way that clearly indicated she was quite upset about it. OTOH, she would also say 'It would annoy you' to describe something that was irritating. Similarly we children would frequently, so we were told, 'annoy the life out me'.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?

    I seem to regularly infuriate my kids by talking about the telephone. I don't think I talk about the television very much, so I'm not at all sure what I tend to say.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Or unlucky. As a nerd, geek, and fully paid up member of the Not Cool squad (i.e. shit at sports) the prospect of such an event would have filled me with terror.

    We had one at my senior school after A-levels, and like you, I had no intention of going. I have no skill at or interest in the freeform stand-and-jiggle school of dance that seems to be practiced at such events, and can't interact with my friends in a large room full of loud music and jiggling people, because we can't hear each other.

    I went to a nightclub once, at university. I was drunk at the time, following a rather good dinner, and following the crowd seemed like the thing. I didn't see the need for a second performance.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?

    I just grew up hearing my mother (b 1919 in rural Ireland) saying 'I'm annoyed' - or 'I'm that annoyed about X' in a way that clearly indicated she was quite upset about it. OTOH, she would also say 'It would annoy you' to describe something that was irritating. Similarly we children would frequently, so we were told, 'annoy the life out me'.

    Hmm... thinking about it, I use 'annoyed' to mean I'm upset too, though it is different from simply saying I'm upset. It suggests being kind of cross/frustrated too, but not as strong as angry. Or maybe it's something that women are conditioned to say rather than angry - a social conditioning to play down strong emotions, particularly anger. But then I find 'irritated' is also used in the flexible way too, especially by women. You can be irritated that someone has let you down, and that includes being upset and angry, but you say irritated. I come across that usage quite a bit. Possibly also a British stiff upper lip thing, to play down being hurt.
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