Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

1125127129130131

Comments

  • 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.)
  • 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 2021
    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 2021
    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 2021
    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 2021
    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 2021
    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 2021
    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"
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Cue friends explaining to interested child a used condom on the floor of the paternal bedroom as 'a carpet jellyfish'.

    "raincoat"

    I'm not fetching THAT coat before going!
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Cue friends explaining to interested child a used condom on the floor of the paternal bedroom as 'a carpet jellyfish'.

    "raincoat"

    I'm not fetching THAT coat before going!

    You're supposed to fetch it before...

    I'll get me *cough* coat.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Cue friends explaining to interested child a used condom on the floor of the paternal bedroom as 'a carpet jellyfish'.

    "raincoat"

    I'm not fetching THAT coat before going!

    You're supposed to fetch it before...

    I'll get me *cough* coat.

    Why are you coughing? This is only getting worse!
  • 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!"

    That reminds me of an incident with my dear mother many years ago, when we were watching the horse racing on TV and the commentator was describing the horses, e.g. this one is a mare, this one is a gelding, etc.

    Mother (who wasn't usually interested in horses at all) asked me what a gelding was, and I explained.

    She said: "So they just cut the tentacles off?"
  • In 'The Dustbin of History' thread, @Croesos quoted from https://www.salon.com/2011/07/31/lee_papers_lafantasie/
    Lee’s granddaughter, Mary Custis Lee deButts, lived in Upperville, a tony little village in Virginia horse country, not far from the nation’s capital

    It's 'tony' that interests me. Is this just a typo for 'tiny' (Wikipedia describes Upperville as 'a small unincorporated town' and doesn't give a population figure for it)? Or is it the right word, suggesting that Upperville is in possession of tone (Wikipedia also notes that 'Upperville has been designated as the Upperville Historic District and is a Virginia Historic Landmark that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places' and is home to a lot of 'prominent Thoroughbred horse breeding farms and country estates', which sounds pretty upmarket and grand to me)?

    If the second, then 'tony' is a new word to me in the UK. If the first, then apologies for getting overexcited about a typing mistake.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I seem to recall a Woody Guthrie song with a line about 'tony [someplace] girls'. Also most word games I've played accept it.
  • "Tony" means high-class, fashionable, stylish
  • Not here it doesn’t.

    According to my late granny :
    “ refined”

    Apart from the last time I heard it used in Oz (?1980) I reckon it has dropped out of ( Antipodean) usage
  • Sojourner wrote: »
    Not here it doesn’t.

    According to my late granny :
    “ refined”

    Apart from the last time I heard it used in Oz (?1980) I reckon it has dropped out of ( Antipodean) usage
    The usage I’ve heard in the American South is a mix of what @mousethief said and what @Sojourner said—refined, high-class, aristocratic or socially exclusive.

  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    Don't know it. If I saw it I would have been guessing it was supposed to be "tiny", or I'd be wondering if a village could be stony!
  • Interesting, I obviously read more American fiction than some of the other non-Americans here, because I knew the word tony and what it meant from books, but my daughter didn't. (That confuses me a bit because I thought she'd read the books I suspected I'd learnt it from).
  • Sojourner wrote: »
    Not here it doesn’t.

    Aaaaaand that's why this thread exists.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Sojourner wrote: »
    Not here it doesn’t.

    According to my late granny :
    “ refined”

    Apart from the last time I heard it used in Oz (?1980) I reckon it has dropped out of ( Antipodean) usage
    The usage I’ve heard in the American South is a mix of what @mousethief said and what @Sojourner said—refined, high-class, aristocratic or socially exclusive.

    With a soupçon of "snobby".
  • So 'tony' is perhaps related to the idea of 'setting the tone'?
  • I always interpreted tony as meaning having more tone, as in being more upmarket in whatever way.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited September 2021
    Interesting, I obviously read more American fiction than some of the other non-Americans here, because I knew the word tony and what it meant from books, but my daughter didn't. (That confuses me a bit because I thought she'd read the books I suspected I'd learnt it from).

    I knew "tony", and didn't think I knew it from an American context. I certainly haven't noticed its use in my real life in the US, and I know that I knew it as a teen living in the UK. But I have absolutely no idea where I got it from - it's certainly plausible that it was fiction written by an American.

    (And my understanding is the same as @Curiosity killed's - "tony" = having tone. Somewhat similar to classy.)
  • I've heard "swish" for the same concept as "tony", meaning rich, fancy, fashionable.
  • I always interpreted tony as meaning having more tone, as in being more upmarket in whatever way.
    I’m used to “tony,” but I don’t think I’ve ever heard “having tone.”
  • I've heard "swish" for the same concept as "tony", meaning rich, fancy, fashionable.

    I think "swish" carries more of a sense of luxury or fancy, and is more likely to be applied to an individual object (Jenny lived in a swish apartment / your new electronic gizmo is rather swish), whereas "tony" carries more of a sense of class, and is more likely to be applied to an area. But we may be sliding fag papers here.
  • 'My baby don't care for high tone places ...' as Nina Simone sang?

    I've not heard 'tony' before. I clearly haven't read enough US fiction.

    Thanks for alerting me to it.

    This thread can be informative.
  • I've not heard 'tony' before. I clearly haven't read enough US fiction.
    Reading this thread has reminded me that, when I first encountered the word, I figured out what it meant from context, but didn't make the connection with "tone". So I ended up thinking that it was a fancy place where people called Tony might live...
  • As I’ve thought about it, I think my first exposure to “tony” as an adjective may have come about through commercials for Toni home perms, with an explanation, likely from an older sibling, of the intended connotation of “Toni.”

  • I've heard "swish" for the same concept as "tony", meaning rich, fancy, fashionable.

    Swish was used here, but I can't recall the last time I heard or saw it. Could be 30 years now, and even then it was old-fashioned and more likely to be used in a small country town.
  • Never heard "swish" up here in the PNW
  • Not a word I'd tend to use but it doesn't come across as archaic or affected.
  • It's in my vocabulary, something nice to say when someone is showing off a new dress or decor.
  • Like Gee D, haven’t heard in 30 years or more…
  • Certainly still in use in this part of regional NSW.
  • Not Wilcannia, surely?
  • Are we talking about the Nike swish?
Sign In or Register to comment.