Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Paracetamol is called acetaminophen in North America. Most common brand Tylenol and that is generally what it is called even when not the brandname. (It's hard on your liver, and the most common cause of liver failure and drug overdoses.)
    And yet after my heart attack and bypass surgery, I was told that it’s the only analgesic that I should take as a general rule. That was a bummer, as I’ve never found it to work as well as ibuprofen or, particularly, naproxen.

    After my cardiac arrest I was told the anti-inflammatory properties of those two medicines would inhibit the incorporation of the stent into my LAD artery, so I had to discontinue my naproxen which was prescribed for my arthritic hips and rely on high-dose paracetamol. At my recent hernia surgery non-specific anti-inflammatories were still listed on my record as an exclusion.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Just a gentle Hostly reminder here, since the thread has taken on a life of its own:

    1. Remember that Heaven is the place for light-hearted and friendly discussion; if you feel yourself on the verge of getting angry at another poster, please remember the spirit of the thread, and indeed the whole board.
    2. Since we have moved beyond just the titular "Americans and Brits" of the OP, if you are contributing to the discussion by saying "this is the word we use around here," please take a moment to add the one or two extra words that would identify what "here" means to you, to avoid possible confusion.

    Thanks for playing nicely.

    Trudy, Heavenly Host
  • Not quite a language item, but even after decades of driving on the right hand side of the road, even with the gear lever and handbrake by my right hand, if I'm on a perfectly clear road with no traffic I will sometimes feel a powerful urge to get back to the left. If it's a quiet country road I have been known to yield to it. It feels very pleasant, like being briefly back in an English-speaking country. (A few weeks of the language and driving in South Africa had a similar effect).
  • I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)

    Odd, when you use it whenever you're parked. It's officially the Parking Brake in the UK, if memory serves, although usually called the handbrake colloquially.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 29
    I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)
    Same on the gear shift here (American South), but the brake in question is usually called the parking brake (though they’re rarely used except when parking on a hill or incline). Emergency brake is sometimes heard.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)
    Interesting @NOprophet_NØprofit . I knew North America used a different term for what in BrEnglish is a 'gear lever', but thought it was 'stick shift' other than 'gear shift'. I didn't know there was a different word for 'hand brake' but the term 'emergency brake' implies that it might either mean something else or be mechanically different.

    The 'hand brake' in BrEnglish is a lever that most usually sits in between the driver's seat and the front passenger seat which works a manual brake which you apply when the car is stationary so as to stop it rolling away, especially crucial since a lot of roads aren't on flat ground. It isn't used as an emergency brake when in motion. For an emergency stop, you're expected to keep both hands in the steering wheel.

    As a back up, you're exhorted when parking always to leave the car in gear.

  • Not suggesting all of North America calls things what I hear here. Just because it's called an emergency brake doesn't mean that what it is used for.

    What do you call the glove compartment in your dialect?
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)
    Interesting @NOprophet_NØprofit . I knew North America used a different term for what in BrEnglish is a 'gear lever', but thought it was 'stick shift' other than 'gear shift'.
    At least where I am, a stick shift is a specific kind of gear shift—one on the floor at the driver’s right hand in a manual transmission car. “Stick shift” can also mean the kind of car with a stick shift.

  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Not quite a language item, but even after decades of driving on the right hand side of the road, even with the gear lever and handbrake by my right hand, if I'm on a perfectly clear road with no traffic I will sometimes feel a powerful urge to get back to the left. If it's a quiet country road I have been known to yield to it.

    Not that far from you, and not that many years ago, a woman was killed in a collision in Southampton, Ont. when a British driver reverted to driving on the left.
    It feels very pleasant, like being briefly back in an English-speaking country.

    It is my understanding that you live in Canada, an English-speaking country. Can you explain what you mean?

  • It's English, but still a different English for me. Many small things that I've never managed to absorb. I'm not complaining - merely commenting on what comforts me. I'll never be a Canadian.

    I can believe the accidental wrong side driver story. I think many of us have done that, just once, and had the wits scared out of us permanently in the process.
  • It was walking in the UK that was seriously dangerous at times for us. First because we had to be alert that drivers and cars came from the opposite direction than expected. Second, because drivers were seriously more aggressive and drove faster in than I assessed for conditions (width of road, number and types of other users), more so than I'd seen in other countries, intolerant of what I'd assess here as normal pedestrian behaviour: socializing while walking. Significant less clearance provided by car drivers: they passed very close.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    In American cities, the most dangerous time for head-on collisions on the freeway is between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM. It is the time when drunks are driving the wrong way on the roads.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    I think inn the UK "smart" has always carried these implications, as described by the late lamented Terry Pratchett in "Thief of Time":

    "‘Mr Ludd doesn’t seem to care. Mr Ludd seems to think he can do as he pleases. He is also . . . smart.’ The acolyte nodded. Ah. Smart. The word had a very specific meaning here in the valley. A smart boy thought he knew more than his tutors, and answered back, and interrupted. A smart boy was worse than a stupid one.

    Pratchett, Terry. Thief Of Time: (Discworld Novel 26) (Discworld series) (p. 43). Transworld. Kindle Edition."
  • I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)

    Gear stick. (UK)

    @NOprophet_NØprofit: the biggest thing I have to get used to when I drive in the UK again after having lived in the US is how narrow all the roads are. Lanes are narrow, roads are narrow, and lots of roads are both narrow and surrounded by tall hedges.

    I'm curious as to why a car driver should be either tolerant or intolerant of pedestrians socializing whilst walking. Unless, of course, you mean "fannying about whilst crossing the road", which is just selfish behaviour, and given the short shrift it rightly deserves. Or unless you mean people walking on country roads with no footpath, in which case "walk in single file" and "step off the road when a car approaches" are accepted social norms. What conditions are you talking about?
  • (With respect to driving on the left vs the right, I usually do OK, but I get in to trouble when there are no visual road markings or cues - such as, for example, leaving a rural pub carpark and driving on to the minor road on which it stands, the only clue I have about the side of the road I'm supposed to be driving on is the side of the car that I'm sitting on. Until another car appears...)
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Leaf wrote: »
    Not that far from you, and not that many years ago, a woman was killed in a collision in Southampton, Ont. when a British driver reverted to driving on the left. ...
    This is also widely alleged to have been why Mrs Sacoolas crashed into and killed Harry Dunn as she emerged onto the wrong side of the road from a US airbase in rural Northamptonshire in 2019. I say 'alleged'. As most people here will know, the case has escaped being tried because the US government promptly whistled her back home and claimed diplomatic immunity. On the face of it, because of her husband's job it's seen as a matter of principle and national honour.

  • I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)

    Gear stick. (UK)

    @NOprophet_NØprofit: the biggest thing I have to get used to when I drive in the UK again after having lived in the US is how narrow all the roads are. Lanes are narrow, roads are narrow, and lots of roads are both narrow and surrounded by tall hedges.

    I'm curious as to why a car driver should be either tolerant or intolerant of pedestrians socializing whilst walking. Unless, of course, you mean "fannying about whilst crossing the road", which is just selfish behaviour, and given the short shrift it rightly deserves. Or unless you mean people walking on country roads with no footpath, in which case "walk in single file" and "step off the road when a car approaches" are accepted social norms. What conditions are you talking about?

    Being in cities and drivers not slowing in the least when passing walkers where roadways were narrow and they are either at risk, perceive risk or both. Speed limits are not minimum speeds. Perhaps there's more impatience in some places.
  • Being in cities and drivers not slowing in the least when passing walkers where roadways were narrow and they are either at risk, perceive risk or both. Speed limits are not minimum speeds. Perhaps there's more impatience in some places.

    There is certainly more impatience in some places than others.

    Cities usually have footpaths. If you're walking in the roadway in a city, you're almost certainly walking in a place you shouldn't be, so I assume you're talking about walking on a footpath / sidewalk adjacent to a road, and you're concerned because a car driving down the road didn't slow down when they passed you, a pedestrian who was walking on the footpath. Do I have that right?

    Because I don't expect cars to slow down when they pass a pedestrian who is walking on the footpath, and I have never seen a car do this. I've slowed down, and seen many people slow down, when they see a group of kids playing by the road, because there's a significant chance that one of them might randomly run in to the road. But pedestrians who are walking down footpaths do not, as a rule, randomly wander off into the road.

    And I'm not really sure how this interacts with your claim that car drivers don't like pedestrians having conversations. Unless one of you is wandering about in the middle of the road whilst holding this conversation, I don't see why you and the car have cause to interact at all.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Actually I do slow down when passing pedestrians - but when it is raining and there is a significant chance of water between the car and the walker.
  • We perhaps walk more than most? Our experience was of differential driver behaviour. Creating a sense of risk. More asocial in general, not anti-social. Less tuned in to others. As someone who makes friends everywhere my desire to hear others and understand their experiences by observation perhaps has me attuned to such things. Plus lately I've been consulting about active transportation and physical and mental health.
  • I'd call a gear lever the gear shift. Hand brake is emergency brake. (western Canada)

    Gear stick. (UK)/quote]

    I always thought 'gear stick' and 'stick shift' were purely North American. Perhaps I've been away too long.

    Anyone who uses the term 'emergency brake' for handbrake should try stopping a moving car with it. That's why hydraulic brakes were invented.
  • Driving courtesy varies a fair bit by region here in the UK. Where were you, No Prophet?
  • Have you been to Italy, No Prophet? All the vehicles seem to have dents because they keep bashing into one another and they also come from unexpected directions - if you are British that is.

    Great art and great pizza though.
  • We perhaps walk more than most?

    Perhaps. But given that every town and city in the UK is full of pedestrians, it seems unlikely that your experience would have been different from the experience that millions of Brits have on a daily basis.
    Our experience was of differential driver behaviour. Creating a sense of risk. More asocial in general, not anti-social. Less tuned in to others. As someone who makes friends everywhere my desire to hear others and understand their experiences by observation perhaps has me attuned to such things.

    You're not doing so well at explaining your experiences: I haven't got the slightest clue what "differential driver behaviour" is supposed to mean. You obviously felt like you were at risk, although presumably you would have mentioned if someone had actually crashed in to you. Can you describe an incident that made you feel at risk? And I'm still confused about what this has to do with pedestrians talking to each other.

    I was thinking about your asocial / impatient thing. As far as I am concerned, we have a social obligation to impinge on others in our crowded towns and cities as little as possible. So if you're on a bus or train, you keep your stuff together: no manspreading, no occupying extra seats with your bags and assorted clutter if the bus/train is starting to fill up. If you're a pedestrian crossing a road, you do so in as expeditious a manner as you can manage. If you're walking down a footpath, try to maintain a steady speed and direction, as much as possible, so that your motion is more easily predicted by other pedestrians. If you're walking in a group and come across some other people, move in to single file so that you can pass easily. Don't park your car where it'll block someone else, even if it's "just for five minutes" - and no, putting your hazard lights on is not the international sign for "just popping in to the shop quickly".

    Talk quietly. Don't play music loud enough that other people can hear it. Don't drive through a puddle next to a pedestrian (that one's in the Highway Code (You're right, @Penny S, I've slowed down when passing pedestrians when there was a lot of surface water. But I think of that as taking account of the road conditions rather than the pedestrian.). Be efficient in your dealings with shopkeepers: you might have all day, but the person behind you in the queue might not.

    Basically, try not to force other people to have to take notice of you.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    One thing I noticed in Stockholm, if you were walking along the pavement and looked as if you were even thinking of crossing the road, the cars slowed to a crawl.

    Here (UK) I know my circumscribed orbit of streets (only too) well, so I know where I can pretty well wander across, and where I need to use the Pelican crossing or the bit with the traffic island.

    Abroad, where it's all coming from the wrong direction, I'd always use the lights. Except in Athens where you need the additional precaution of tucking in behind a Greek granny.

    Country roads, it's single file, face traffic and be ready to hop into a ditch.
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    There are certainly road/pavement combinations here in the UK where you are likely to have a large bus whizzing past within inches of your shoulder. I can imagine that would be alarming if you are used to more spacious roads. On our way to school, the cars will usually move over to the centre of the road if it's clear, to give the pedestrians on the pavement more room.

    Which brings me to another Pond difference- in the US, the pavement is the stuff the roads are made of, rather than the bit you walk on. Any variations on pavement/sidewalk in other English-speaking countries? It seems like the kind of thing that ought to have some good dialect words, like alley and jitty, but I don't think I have come across any.
  • You may not be aware, but there is a move to change the Highway Code to make it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly see this BBC story from the end of July (link), putting more onus on the more dangerous mode of transport. So it is widely recognised that cars in the UK do not give way as much as they should to bicycles and pedestrians.

    I'm going to support @NOprophet_NØprofit about walking in England. I met a couple on a route we walk regularly yesterday that takes in a section of road walking to make it into a circuit, and warned them about the road section, because it has no pavement, is narrow, twisty and busy with traffic from both bikes and cars which are mostly unprepared and unwilling to allow for pedestrians. I've had a cyclist shout at me on that section that I was on the wrong side of the road, albeit tucked in, when as per the Highway Code I was on the outside of a blind bend, which I did shout back at him.

    There are several walking routes locally that require a section of narrow country lane walking and all are pretty horrible with no give way from cars for pedestrians, cars coming as near and as fast as possible, even when tucked it - and there is often no verge, often just a ditch and hedge along the edge, so no, no verge to hop on, sorry about that. There's one route that we'll walk an extra 4 or 5 miles to avoid the road walking, but avoiding road walking requires long distances to avoid those sections if it is even possible and the off road paths are accessible as many are still very muddy even in August this year.

    Particularly unpleasant local tricks, even in town, are for drivers to aim for puddles fast to soak pedestrians, or to set up the windscreen washer to spray passing pedestrians walking on the pavements minding their business, or to throw things out of windows at pedestrians, because everyone should be in cars, shouldn't they? That's without the abuse that gets shouted out of windows too. Grand Theft Auto had it right, didn't it?
  • PS - bonus points for soaking a whole bus queue in this area, plus a yell out of the car window that the queue should "Get a driving licence!" To which one of the soaked bus passengers yelled back "Too f***ing young!".

    It's specific to this area, but it's across quite a large area, including several towns.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    "as per the Highway Code I was on the outside of a blind bend"
    I didn't know that was in the Highway Code, but it's what I do when walking as it makes sense.
    I see lots of walkers who don't know this, and who don't know the more obvious thing about walking facing the oncoming traffic, On one occasion, when I saw a party of youths who were obviously part of some group, with a map, and stopping to discuss where they were going, but had clearly not received proper instruction about walking in lane type roads, I stopped to deliver the necessary training!
    I think that where I live, on the fringes of London, there are a lot of both drivers and walkers who have not grown up with our sort of roads and don't think. I took my bike out once after moving here. I couldn't cope with the drivers.
  • Link to Highway Code - Rules for Pedestrians
    If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and
    • be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light
    • keep close to the side of the road.
    It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you. Cross back after the bend.

    Nothing about hopping onto a verge.

    (Also on the bit of road I was describing, it's a whole lot safer to be on the outside of the t-junction, whichever direction is being walked, but that's not considered.)
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Invoking diplomatic immunity to evade fair trial in a friendly country 'as a matter of national honour'? Sounds like Prince Andrew's conception of honour.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited August 31
    I met a couple on a route we walk regularly yesterday that takes in a section of road walking to make it into a circuit, and warned them about the road section, because it has no pavement, is narrow, twisty and busy with traffic from both bikes and cars which are mostly unprepared and unwilling to allow for pedestrians.

    Now there's an interesting question in here. I find that I am far more tolerant of someone who is causing a holdup because of work (they're a farmer moving a herd of cows to a different field, or some poor soul trying to reverse a delivery vehicle into a gap that's almost too small for it, or someone trimming trees, or climbing a phone pole, or picking up litter, or whatever), than I am of someone who is causing a holdup because of their leisure activity (the local lycra warriors out for an evening ride, or people who are going for a walk. I'd include people who are just "out for a drive" in this latter group, when they start doing things like slowing down in the middle of a road and rubbernecking at pretty bits of scenery.

    Which I suppose means that I think that if you're doing something for pleasure or leisure, you have a social obligation to keep out of the way of people with what I think of as more important things to do.
  • Walking concerns include safety and perceived safety. It's subjective. Not everywhere is walking a problem and there are dangerous and dangerous-feeling walking places in all countries. I did make a generalized comment. The discussion of 'more vulnerable road users' from @Curiosity killed names this nicely.

  • @Leorning Cniht so no pedestrian should have right of way to walk the local paths on a Bank Holiday Monday because there are sections along the road, and those drivers tooling back and forth from one of the local pubs, equally at leisure get right of way? Interesting.

    I will point out that those roads date long before the usurping motor car and to my knowledge are shown on a 1777 map, when they would have been used on foot and horse. One section is a known Roman Road. It's the car that has taken over unsuitable routes here, not pedestrians.
  • @Leorning Cniht so no pedestrian should have right of way to walk the local paths on a Bank Holiday Monday because there are sections along the road, and those drivers tooling back and forth from one of the local pubs, equally at leisure get right of way? Interesting.

    I will point out that those roads date long before the usurping motor car and to my knowledge are shown on a 1777 map, when they would have been used on foot and horse. One section is a known Roman Road. It's the car that has taken over unsuitable routes here, not pedestrians.

    You're putting words in my mouth, and making a distinction that I did not make.

    I'm distinguishing between leisure uses and transport uses (and work uses), not by mode of transport.

    Somebody who is walking to work, or somebody who is walking to the pub, uses the path or road in the same way. It's transport - they're trying to get to their destination. The same goes for someone who is driving to work, or driving to the pub.

    Somebody who is out for a walk, or a bike ride, or a drive, isn't using the path or road in the same way. They're using it as the activity, not as transportation to the activity.

    So along these lines, I think that groups of people who are, for example, wandering around town should comport themselves in a way so as not to obstruct the passage of people who wish to walk to a destination. If you're not using the path/road/whatever as a means to get as expeditiously as you can to your destination, you should yield the way to those who are trying to do that.

    If I am a pedestrian trying to get somewhere, I might find my way obstructed by a crowd of wanderers or by a couple of workers mending a leaking water pipe. I'm generally more tolerant of the latter than the former. Because the latter have a necessary function there, whereas the former have made a free choice to be in the way.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 31
    Interesting choice of words, “a free choice to be in the way”. Your way? And they were there first, with no thought of you.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 31
    So someone driving to the gym ("using the road to get somewhere") has priority over someone getting a similar exercise benefit from cycling or walking along the road as their activity? Despite the ultimate purpose of their journey being the same?

    It's bullshit anyway. As far as the law's concerned the highway is provided as a public good. Walkers, cyclists and horseriders use it as of right; motorists under licence, but in all cases their business thereon is their own and not subject to your judgement as to its validity.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 31
    I'm trying to see the LC dictum in practice - it seems to mean the Cycling Club ride diving into the hedge because someone coming the other way is on the way to the pub, while the bloke 'out for a drive' (how is this defined? Does stopping at a rural pub turn it into a "journey to get somewhere"? Is the Club ride legitimised it there's a stop for cake?) must always give way to the cyclist on his way to his chess club?

    How are we to know each other's journey intentions?

    Potty.

    I think what we see here is an attempt to legitimise feelings of irritation at being "held up" to which tolerance, rather than spraying blame on spurious grounds, might be a better response.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I'm trying to see the LC dictum in practice

    Well, the "LC dictum", if you like, is best summed up as "take reasonable steps to minimize the ways that you impinge on other people".

    If you're travelling from A to B, you don't have a reasonable choice except to follow some sort of direct route between A and B. The "LC dictum" would say that you should prefer to follow main roads, rather than racing along a "rat run" through residential streets, because the latter unfairly impinges on the people who live on those streets. If you're walking, this usually doesn't matter (someone walking down your street is almost never a problem), but if you're cycling, or especially driving, then it's more of an issue.

    It doesn't, of course, mean that the Cycling Club should pile in to the hedge en masse because there's someone coming the other way (or even the same way, which would seem to be more of an issue, unless you're cycling on a single-track road), but it does mean that when the Cycling Club plans its rides, it should choose to avoid places and times where it'll get in the way of a lot of people who are trying to travel from A to B. And that during the ride, it should comport itself in the way that impinges least on other road users, which means things like leaving gaps between clumps of riders to make it easier for cars to pass.

    And yes, it means that people who are walking down a narrow country road should step on to the verge, if possible, to allow a vehicle to pass more easily. It doesn't mean they should try and climb in to a built-up hedge, 'cause that wouldn't be reasonable.

    If you're out for a walk, or for a cycle, then you have to a much greater extent than people who are going from A to B freedom of choice over the routes you take.

    And it's not at all about being a rules lawyer about whether or not it's a journey to somewhere.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    How are we to know each other's journey intentions?

    You don't need to know someone else's journey intentions. You need to know what you're doing (as most people do) and you need to know whether what you're doing impinges on someone else (most people can spot that, too.)

    It's not about the person who is travelling from A to B yelling "I'm on an important journey - make way for me!": it's about the person who has more choices making those choices to stay out of someone else's way.

    And yes, this also means that if you're making a car journey, and you have a choice about when to make it, you should choose not to make it during your local "rush hour". Of course, you'd probably do that anyway, because the experience of driving in rush hour would be worse for you as well as making things worse for other people.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 31
    The highway has too much of a problem of people thinking their presence there is more important than other peoples' without encouraging some of them to think thus.

    If I'm driving to work, the thing I'm going to be most held up by, by an order of magnitude, is other people doing the same thing. Not walkers. Not recreational cyclists, and not Mrs Jones taking her sister for a drive out because she can't get out on her own, bless her.
  • Tell me, why is it so terrible for you to be "impinged upon" by fellow human beings? What is so much more important than they? I'm talking a reasonable level of impingement, such as most of us put up with or even welcome on a daily basis. I mean, do you even chat with the mailman? Say a few words to the cashier? Commiserate with the other folks at the bus stop? Or is your mind ever onwards toward your overarching goal, and all these folks merely obstacles?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    .
    Tell me, why is it so terrible for you to be "impinged upon" by fellow human beings? What is so much more important than they? I'm talking a reasonable level of impingement, such as most of us put up with or even welcome on a daily basis. I mean, do you even chat with the mailman? Say a few words to the cashier? Commiserate with the other folks at the bus stop? Or is your mind ever onwards toward your overarching goal, and all these folks merely obstacles?

    British tradition. Work out how long it takes to drive somewhere in ideal conditions, leave five minutes late, then sit fuming in traffic deciding why it it's not your fault.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    edited August 31
    Driver and pedestrian etiquette is such an interesting topic! But not the topic of this thread!

    You all did a great job of cooling down the heat on the language discussion after I host-posted the other day. But in doing so, conversation has veered off into a completely different subject!

    While I can see how the remit of a language thread might broaden from "US vs UK usage" to "Usage in different English-speaking countries," I think if people wish to discuss driving/walking issues and etiquette, a new thread might be in order. And, given how strongly people feel about all things road-related, it might even be a Purgatory, rather than a Heaven, discussion.

    Trudy, Heavenly Host
  • PS - bonus points for soaking a whole bus queue in this area, plus a yell out of the car window that the queue should "Get a driving licence!" To which one of the soaked bus passengers yelled back "Too f***ing young!".

    It's specific to this area, but it's across quite a large area, including several towns.

    Well, if you near live in the south-east ...

    More seriously, it's beginning to get a bit that way up here too and to hear some drivers speak or else post on social media some pretty reasonable moves to reduce speed limits and introduce measures to support cyclists and pedestrians are tantamount to blasphemy.

    Whoops ... off topic.

    But I think issues like manners and etiquette do have a bearing on the linguistic issues we've been discussing.

    For instance, it seems to me that Australians have no qualms about asking people how much they earn or paid for their car or house or whatever else whereas most British or American people - and I suspect Canadians - wouldn't dream of asking such questions. I'm not sure about South Africans or people from other Anglophone countries.
  • Whoops - predictive text - ' ... if you must live in the south-east'.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    .
    Tell me, why is it so terrible for you to be "impinged upon" by fellow human beings? What is so much more important than they? I'm talking a reasonable level of impingement, such as most of us put up with or even welcome on a daily basis. I mean, do you even chat with the mailman? Say a few words to the cashier? Commiserate with the other folks at the bus stop? Or is your mind ever onwards toward your overarching goal, and all these folks merely obstacles?

    British tradition. Work out how long it takes to drive somewhere in ideal conditions, leave five minutes late, then sit fuming in traffic deciding why it it's not your fault.

    Oh, I get it now. (tangent over and OUT)
  • A morning smile, which probably isn't a different use in different parts of the English-speaking world, but did make me smile.

    Scene: small children playing a game involving pretending to be jellyfish.

    Small boy child: "Yay! All my tentacles have dropped!"
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Cue friends explaining to interested child a used condom on the floor of the paternal bedroom as 'a carpet jellyfish'.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Cue friends explaining to interested child a used condom on the floor of the paternal bedroom as 'a carpet jellyfish'.

    "raincoat"
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