PDA

View Full Version : Talking American



Pages : 1 2 [3]

ShimmeringStar
April 20th, 2006, 04:55 PM
I'm suprised thsi thread isn't a warzone already :S

so i'll just shut my big fat pie hole ;)

*runs away*

I was refering to what the world thought of us...they all think we're either tea drinking snobs with posh accents or chavs/neds :(
Ah... but see - that's what is so great about this thread. We can come in here without being all accusatory, inflammatory, and making blanket statements about one another and instead learn about our differences and similarities while exploring the way the English language is used through the world.

Now there's something that would catch my eye as non-American terms if I were reading a fanfic - "chavs and neds." So..... what's a chav and a ned? (Or should I not ask?:eek::P)

CeeKay Sheppard
April 20th, 2006, 06:57 PM
Geek would be another adjective. But then Mr. P, that begs the question of how old is the person who is calling said person this name? Bookworm would be one generation's derogatory term while nerd/geek would be the next's. (Like those of us who were in our teens/early 20's in the '80's.) *looks around thread* Any U.S. teens lurking about who know what the latest buzzwords are?:rolleyes:

Well, I'm in college, and at least 'round these parts, the word is usually "geek." It not necessarily derogatory, though Ė more of a joke, really.

dipsofjazz
April 21st, 2006, 02:05 AM
Now there's something that would catch my eye as non-American terms if I were reading a fanfic - "chavs and neds." So..... what's a chav and a ned? (Or should I not ask?:eek::P)
A ned is the Scottish equivalent of a chav. You can find out about these lower form of species here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4075012.stm):p

Chrysalis
April 21st, 2006, 09:40 AM
Geek would be another adjective. But then Mr. P, that begs the question of how old is the person who is calling said person this name? Bookworm would be one generation's derogatory term while nerd/geek would be the next's. (Like those of us who were in our teens/early 20's in the '80's.) *looks around thread* Any U.S. teens lurking about who know what the latest buzzwords are?:rolleyes:


Yay! I don't feel like such a geriatric!

Ummm. Can't help you out here, but I'm sure someone can. This is rapidly becoming my favourite thread, which is scary since I'm essentially here for Shep/Weir!!

Major Zoidberg
April 21st, 2006, 06:40 PM
Heres a question, why is stargate so amercianised? :ronananime25:

If you need international help for the war in iraq (especilay the brits) No this isn't a polititical battle ground! Why do they think they can fight aliens with only good old russias help? ;)

Major Fischer
April 21st, 2006, 06:50 PM
Heres a question, why is stargate so amercianised? :ronananime25:


Probably not the best thread to ask this question. There are a lot of possible answers, but when it comes down to it, it's an American TV show (though shot in Canada) and it caters to that audience. Stargate is also relatively campy and the messy parts of real life needs for alliences don't generally fit that nitch.

I'm sure you can find some discussion of international involvement elsewhere though. This thread is really about trying to keep the fan fic consistent with the series, not argue over the choices made by the writers of the show itself.

;) Good, valid, question though.

Major Zoidberg
April 21st, 2006, 07:03 PM
Sorry, it just seemed kinda relavent, everyone wants to talk american, i don't see why it has to be that way especilay atlantis :( But i suppose TPTB don't want an international fandom war...never thought of it that way *kicks self* :o

Major Fischer
April 21st, 2006, 07:56 PM
Sorry, it just seemed kinda relavent, everyone wants to talk american, i don't see why it has to be that way especilay atlantis :( But i suppose TPTB don't want an international fandom war...never thought of it that way *kicks self* :o

No one is saying everyone on Atlantis needs to use American slang, but I'd be really turned off by a fic where Jack O'Neill was using British slang ;)

Major Zoidberg
April 21st, 2006, 08:01 PM
LOL Isn't british slang just recycled out dated american slang :rolleyes:

But i see your point *runs off*

Major Tyler
April 21st, 2006, 08:20 PM
LOL Isn't british slang just recycled out dated american slang :rolleyes:No...it isn't.

Major Zoidberg
April 21st, 2006, 08:26 PM
Is to :p

Ah Mod :eek: *runs away*

Mr Prophet
April 21st, 2006, 11:15 PM
No one is saying everyone on Atlantis needs to use American slang, but I'd be really turned off by a fic where Jack O'Neill was using British slang ;)

Also, unless the PTB had a permanent British slang adviser, their use of British slang would be about as irritating as my attempts to write American slang pre this thread.

Major Tyler
April 22nd, 2006, 06:05 AM
Also, unless the PTB had a permanent British slang adviser, their use of British slang would be about as irritating as my attempts to write American slang pre this thread.Yes...the first time a supposedly British character said "fanny" it would be all over! :P

On "Prison Break (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=26386)" Amaury Nolesco plays an Hispanic inmate, but since the actor is Puerto Rican, they made the character Puerto Rican too so Amaury could tell them if they're getting the slang right. They could do the same thing with international slang use on Atlantis.

immhotep
April 22nd, 2006, 09:48 AM
I have a question: do americans get annoyed when writers spell colour like colour? instead of color, the wrong way! its one of those major Us/UK things ive never got, why did you take out the U?

jckfan55
April 22nd, 2006, 09:54 AM
Geek would be another adjective. But then Mr. P, that begs the question of how old is the person who is calling said person this name? Bookworm would be one generation's derogatory term while nerd/geek would be the next's. (Like those of us who were in our teens/early 20's in the '80's.) *looks around thread* Any U.S. teens lurking about who know what the latest buzzwords are?:rolleyes:
Of course depending on the age of the character, he/she might be using 10-20 year old slang. We tend to get stuck in the slang that was popular when we were young. I remember laughing at adults using "groovy" when that was sooo out of date. I'm sure my slang is just as passe. :)

Major Tyler
April 22nd, 2006, 11:20 AM
I have a question: do americans get annoyed when writers spell colour like colour? instead of color, the wrong way! its one of those major Us/UK things ive never got, why did you take out the U?To me the extra "u" seems so superfluous, but that's neither here nor there. Sometimes linguistic styles make no practical sense...especially with English.

To answer the question, it doesn't "annoy" me when I see it, but British spellings do kind of jar me out of the story and lessens their impact for me.

RuleBritannia
April 22nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
Why is it you need two for a pair of earrings but only one for a pair of trousers (pants).

ShimmeringStar
April 22nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
Sorry, it just seemed kinda relavent, everyone wants to talk american, i don't see why it has to be that way especilay atlantis :( But i suppose TPTB don't want an international fandom war...never thought of it that way *kicks self* :o
But see the characters in SG: SG-1 were born in the U.S. and grew up/lived around around different parts of the U.S. and it was the U.S. military (in the movie & the TV series) that developed the SG program, so...... it'd make sense that the characters in SG: SG-1 spoke in American English dialects.

Now... you have posed a good point about Atlantis which definitely is multi-national (as well as multi-humanoid). Much more of a variety of slang and dialects would be heard there.

I have a question: do americans get annoyed when writers spell colour like colour? instead of color, the wrong way! its one of those major Us/UK things ive never got, why did you take out the U?
*grins* Now immhotep..... you know "wrong" is a matter of interpretation!:D
*coughs* color color color color color color color color
LOL!:P
But to answer you, I think there may be some readers who get annoyed (see my response to MZ^). If you're reading an SG1 fanfic that *really* is trying to stay within the series' established canon (where it's about American-born/raised characters in an U.S. military facility), then to have British English spellings do jar you right out of the story. For some readers the *coughs* misspellings;) would be on par with putting in "loo" for bathroom or any other of the various different words that we've talked about in the thread. (And since you (the general you) know the writer went to a lot of trouble to keep every other part of the story within canon, you'd wonder why they didn't try to keep it American English vs. BE.)


I'm wondering - what's everyone's opinions on SG: SGA fanfic? In your opinion would 'talking American' be as big a requirement for fanfiction for that series? (I haven't read but a bit of one SGA FF, so I can't say I have much of an opinion on that one, but am interested to hear everyone's thoughts.)

CeeKay Sheppard
April 22nd, 2006, 06:43 PM
As for the spellings of words like color/colour, I don't think it really matters unless you're looking at something the character wrote (e.g. a letter or journal entry). But as for narration and dialogue, it's just the way the author spells it.

And as for SGA fics, I think the American characters need to "talk American," the other characters need to be kept as closely as possible to their own country's terminology and slang, and the style of the narration depends on the author.

CeeKay Sheppard
April 22nd, 2006, 06:44 PM
Why is it you need two for a pair of earrings but only one for a pair of trousers (pants).

That's a very good question. I haven't the faintest idea. Perhaps because pants have two legs?

immhotep
April 23rd, 2006, 03:07 AM
Now... you have posed a good point about Atlantis which definitely is multi-national (as well as multi-humanoid). Much more of a variety of slang and dialects would be heard there.

*grins* Now immhotep..... you know "wrong" is a matter of interpretation!:D
*coughs* color color color color color color color color
LOL!:P
But to answer you, I think there may be some readers who get annoyed (see my response to MZ^). If you're reading an SG1 fanfic that *really* is trying to stay within the series' established canon (where it's about American-born/raised characters in an U.S. military facility), then to have British English spellings do jar you right out of the story. For some readers the *coughs* misspellings;) would be on par with putting in "loo" for bathroom or any other of the various different words that we've talked about in the thread. (And since you (the general you) know the writer went to a lot of trouble to keep every other part of the story within canon, you'd wonder why they didn't try to keep it American English vs. BE.)


We have a British character as a Main in our series, so for Our series canon, BE would have to be taken in to accountand used in the context of the UK resident speaking because a british person would not speak american on purpose. right?

KatG
April 23rd, 2006, 03:55 AM
I have a question: do americans get annoyed when writers spell colour like colour? instead of color, the wrong way! its one of those major Us/UK things ive never got, why did you take out the U?

I have no idea why it was taken out. Given the American penchant for doing things faster, it probably just takes less time, 8) but it doesn't bother me to see it. I tend to read over it in a fic, and since hanging out here, I'm as likely to put it in as to leave it out when spelling myself.

Major Tyler
April 23rd, 2006, 07:11 AM
We have a British character as a Main in our series, so for Our series canon, BE would have to be taken in to accountand used in the context of the UK resident speaking because a british person would not speak american on purpose. right?If when writing dialogue for a British character you use British spelling, but when Americans are speaking you use American spellings, I think it would be great! It would help me conceptualize how they're speaking.

Beatrice Otter
April 28th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Heres a question, why is stargate so amercianised? :ronananime25:

If you need international help for the war in iraq (especilay the brits) No this isn't a polititical battle ground! Why do they think they can fight aliens with only good old russias help? ;)
Well, the coalition in Iraq isn't there because we need the military help. Honestly, when it comes right down to it, there are very few nations in the world that could give us a problem, militarily, if we wanted to invade them. China is one. Iraq is not. The thing is, the US political establishment decided about twenty years ago that the only reason we wouldn't be able to put together a coalition is if we were being Evil. Therefore, a coalition is kind of the necessary window dressing to assure certain segments of our population that we are the Good Guys (because, hey, if it's right it's got to be popular, right? If it's not popular, it can't be right[/sarcasm]).

Anyway, the military generally doesn't much care for international coalitions for a variety of reasons including communication and coordination issues, security, and pride. Since the Stargate is 1)not public and 2)run almost entirely by the military, I'd have been surprised if they did have a coalition. Note also that in seasons 7-9 as politicians start to get more involved and more countries find out about the Stargate, a new international body is set up to provide oversight for the SGC and has its own international program in Atlantis.

Beatrice Otter
April 28th, 2006, 10:57 AM
RE: the elimination of the "u" in color

It all has to do with dictionaries. See, for most of the history of the world there has been no standardized, official source for spelling. There was usually a common consensus in any language, but no hard and fast source providing The Right Way(tm) to spell it and the exact definition. In short, there were no dictionaries. People spelled things the way they sounded, and as the sound of the word changed, so did its spelling.

Anyway, dictionaries started to be written in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and it was a bit of a heroic battle, particularly for English which (due partly to its unique history) has several times the vocabulary of most other Indo-European languages. Note the time frame here: late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. That's the time the Colonies were being settled and growing and breaking away from the old country. Spellings weren't yet set in stone, but people are getting used to going to the dictionary to look things up.

Enter a guy named Noah Webster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Webster), a teacher who got fed up with the way American schools were run and decided to Do Something About It. What he did was write grammar textbooks, starting around 1783. That got him into lexicography which got him into the burgeoning field of dictionaries. For those non-Americans out there, the Merriam-Webster's dictionary ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merriam-Webster) is still by far the most widely used dictionary in America, 200 years after Webster published his first dictionary.

What does all this have to do with the "u" in color/colour?

Webster was a staunch patriot. He wanted to distinguish the US from its parent nation. He also was big on logic and wanted to make spelling more logical. So, when he didn't think a word was spelled right, he changed the spelling. Some stuck (color/colour, theater/theatre), some didn't (thum/thumb). He single-handedly changed the spelling of a whole nation. That's pretty impressive.

Mr Prophet
May 6th, 2006, 11:27 PM
Couple of questions on language:

So, I'm aware that what we call tights, Americans would probably call pantyhose, but would the same word be used for the grey woollen items that might form part of a girl's school uniform? Only I've tried using it, but it sounds off-key to me.
what do you call the people who come in a large truck to move your stuff to a new house? Movers, removal men, thieves?

KatG
May 7th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Couple of questions on language:

So, I'm aware that what we call tights, Americans would probably call pantyhose, but would the same word be used for the grey woollen items that might form part of a girl's school uniform? Only I've tried using it, but it sounds off-key to me.
what do you call the people who come in a large truck to move your stuff to a new house? Movers, removal men, thieves?



The grey woollen items that might form part of a girl's school uniform would be called tights, if they're what I think they are (one piece in the same form as pantyhose).

People who move your stuff to a new house would be "movers", if it were your new house. If it were someone else's they'd be called theives. ;)

LurkerLa
May 7th, 2006, 08:42 AM
Couple of questions on language:

So, I'm aware that what we call tights, Americans would probably call pantyhose, but would the same word be used for the grey woollen items that might form part of a girl's school uniform? Only I've tried using it, but it sounds off-key to me.
what do you call the people who come in a large truck to move your stuff to a new house? Movers, removal men, thieves?

Yep, tights. I tend to think of tights as thicker than pantyhose, which are usually somewhat sheer. And I seem to recall that my mother thought that hose were inappropriate for young girls, so she didn't let me have any until I was in junior high. I think.

Actually, given that I refused to wear anything but pants until quite recently, I don't really remember when she thought girls were old enough to wear pantyhose...

Mr Prophet
May 7th, 2006, 11:15 AM
Thanks.

Gatetrixer
May 13th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Couple of questions on language:

So, I'm aware that what we call tights, Americans would probably call pantyhose, but would the same word be used for the grey woollen items that might form part of a girl's school uniform? Only I've tried using it, but it sounds off-key to me.
what do you call the people who come in a large truck to move your stuff to a new house? Movers, removal men, thieves?


They'd probably be called tights, but "grey woollen items" sound like old-fashioned long underwear (longies) and I find it hard to believe any American girl would wear them where they could be seen. Or wear them at all if they could manage it (especially grey). It's hard enough to get them to wear mittens, boots (for snow or rain), hats, etc. Real tights of various colors (not grey woollen items) are worn by younger girls.

Mr Prophet
June 4th, 2006, 12:23 AM
Another question: What do you call the glove compartment in America? If it isn't 'glove compartment' or 'glove box' and you don't know what I mean, I'm talking about the compartment in the dash where you store map books and - if you are so inclined - driving gloves.

If it is something similar, I guess no explanation was necessary.

LoneStar1836
June 4th, 2006, 01:07 AM
Another question: What do you call the glove compartment in America? If it isn't 'glove compartment' or 'glove box' and you don't know what I mean, I'm talking about the compartment in the dash where you store map books and - if you are so inclined - driving gloves.

If it is something similar, I guess no explanation was necessary.I use either one of those terms. Donít know that Iíve ever heard it called anything else as far as I know.

The main thing I store in mine is the vehicle registration and insurance card. And of course youíve got your other assorted junk that piles up in it.

Major Tyler
June 4th, 2006, 04:05 AM
For the most part, I say glove compartment, but sometimes I say glove box. Either one is fine.

LurkerLa
June 4th, 2006, 09:10 AM
I use either one of those terms. Donít know that Iíve ever heard it called anything else as far as I know.

The main thing I store in mine is the vehicle registration and insurance card. And of course youíve got your other assorted junk that piles up in it.
Don't forget the mileage record! Or am I the only one who writes down the mileage whenever I fill the tank? :)

I tend to stick with glove compartment, but many of my friends say glove box. I don't know if that's a regional thing, but we all understand what the others mean.

Mr Prophet
June 4th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Once again, many thanks.

LoneStar1836
June 4th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Don't forget the mileage record! Or am I the only one who writes down the mileage whenever I fill the tank? :)
No, your not, but I donít do that since I really donít care how many miles to the gallon the vehicle is getting. :D My mom does it though. :)

I know the ashtray in my old truck used to be filled with pieces of the oil filter box with the milage every time the oil got changed. It eventually overflowed into the glove box.

Beatrice Otter
June 12th, 2006, 08:54 AM
No, your not, but I donít do that since I really donít care how many miles to the gallon the vehicle is getting. :D My mom does it though. :)

I know the ashtray in my old truck used to be filled with pieces of the oil filter box with the milage every time the oil got changed. It eventually overflowed into the glove box.
I had a friend from college who always wrote down the mileage. I don't think he ever actually used it to figure out his gas mileage, though--it was just something he did because his parents always did it.

My parents own their own small business, and they write down mileage whenever they run errands for the business or go on business trips because that's tax-deductible.

jckfan55
June 12th, 2006, 09:40 AM
This may have been covered before, but is "the high street" like Main Street in the US?

Toresica
June 12th, 2006, 10:28 AM
I had a friend from college who always wrote down the mileage. I don't think he ever actually used it to figure out his gas mileage, though--it was just something he did because his parents always did it.

My parents own their own small business, and they write down mileage whenever they run errands for the business or go on business trips because that's tax-deductible.
We reset the trip odometer every time we buy gas, which originally was to figure out the gas mileage.

(Well, the gas kilometerage, I suppose, since it's measured in kilometers... but we call it mileage).

Major Tyler
June 12th, 2006, 02:59 PM
This may have been covered before, but is "the high street" like Main Street in the US?To be honest, I'm American and I've never heard of "the high street."

Callista
June 12th, 2006, 03:45 PM
This may have been covered before, but is "the high street" like Main Street in the US?

There's "taking the high road" which means that you are going to be moral/ethical/(possibly snooty) but I've never heard of "the high street" either.

Mr Prophet
June 13th, 2006, 08:16 AM
There's "taking the high road" which means that you are going to be moral/ethical/(possibly snooty) but I've never heard of "the high street" either.

Wouldn't that be taking the (moral) high ground, or getting on your high horse? I thought taking the high road was staying alive, as opposed to taking (or indeed takking) the low road, which was dying.

KatG
June 13th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Wouldn't that be taking the (moral) high ground, or getting on your high horse? I thought taking the high road was staying alive, as opposed to taking (or indeed takking) the low road, which was dying.

According to answer.com it can mean:

1. The easiest or surest path or course: the high road to happiness.
2. The most positive, diplomatic, or ethical course.

And to answer jckfan, in Britain it means - A main road; a highway.

http://www.answers.com/high+road&r=67

Mr Prophet
June 13th, 2006, 08:35 AM
Yes. I may have slipped out of Talking American into Talking Rabbie Burns.

jckfan55
June 13th, 2006, 08:40 AM
According to answer.com it can mean:

1. The easiest or surest path or course: the high road to happiness.
2. The most positive, diplomatic, or ethical course.

And to answer jckfan, in Britain it means - A main road; a highway.

http://www.answers.com/high+road&r=67
Thanks. That's what I wondered. I'm in the US, but sometimes when I watch a British show or read a book set in England they use that term.

Chrysalis
June 15th, 2006, 07:24 PM
If when writing dialogue for a British character you use British spelling, but when Americans are speaking you use American spellings, I think it would be great! It would help me conceptualize how they're speaking.


I'm always amazed at the fact that it's usually American people who say they're 'jarred out of a story' by British English. British/Canadian/Australian/New Zealand/South African fans, on the other hand, who are 99 percent taught the British spellings can somehow manage to keep reading a story if they see American spelling.

To say that Americans should be written for using American spelling and others using British spelling wouldn't work. That's fine if you're doing nothing but dialogue, but what do you do for descriptive writing between conversations? How does that work.

Personally I don't like American spelling. I know you think it's easier to for people to learn, and you know that I think it's lazy. We've had this conversation before. I think it's underestimating the intelligence of your people to say that you need to make it simple for them. The theory of new Americans needing to learn it as a second language doesn't fly, either because people who come here with nothing but Italian, Greek, Indonesian, Arabic or whatever are somehow able to learn British spelling without any trouble. I'm fairly convinced that the spelling differences have something to do with the US asserting its independence from Britain, not to do with it being easier to teach. If someone can't learn to spell a word because it has an 'ou' instead of 'o' or 're' instead of 'er', they're probably not terribly intelligent in the first place.

Bottom line, I'm not going to stop reading a story purely because someone says conceptualize instead of the British conceptualise. That to me is just stupid, especially if you actually like the story you're reading. It's shallow.

jckfan55
June 15th, 2006, 07:28 PM
British spelling doesn't bother me, but sometimes terms can momentarily make me stop to notice it's not a US author--ex) car park for parking lot.

KatG
June 16th, 2006, 02:41 AM
British spellings don't bother me either. In fact, half the time anymore I don't even know if it's British or American and am just as likely to spell it British myself, so it doesn't throw me out of a story.

What will make me stop, or at least say, oh, this writer is British is terms as jckfan said. Terms such as, ensuite, lift, torch for flashlight or my all time favorite jumper for sweater. 8) Another clue that the writer is from Britain is was stood/was sat, were stood/were sat for standing or sitting.

Still, while this may make me pause for a moment, it won't make me stop reading if it's a good story. But I do appreciate it when a writer takes the time to make American characters sound American, just as I appreciate British characters sounding British.

Chrysalis
June 16th, 2006, 05:25 AM
British spellings don't bother me either. In fact, half the time anymore I don't even know if it's British or American and am just as likely to spell it British myself, so it doesn't throw me out of a story.

What will make me stop, or at least say, oh, this writer is British is terms as jckfan said. Terms such as, ensuite, lift, torch for flashlight or my all time favorite jumper for sweater. 8) Another clue that the writer is from Britain is was stood/was sat, were stood/were sat for standing or sitting.

Still, while this may make me pause for a moment, it won't make me stop reading if it's a good story. But I do appreciate it when a writer takes the time to make American characters sound American, just as I appreciate British characters sounding British.


Nice to know not everyone has issues with it. One that always shows me immediately that it's an American writer (regardless of spelling) is the word (or rather use of) the word spit. Americans will say "He spit on me", where as people in pretty much all other English speaking countries would say "He spat on me". As in 'spat' being past tense. That's one word that automatically stands out to me.

LurkerLa
June 16th, 2006, 07:23 PM
British spellings don't bother me either. In fact, half the time anymore I don't even know if it's British or American and am just as likely to spell it British myself, so it doesn't throw me out of a story.

What will make me stop, or at least say, oh, this writer is British is terms as jckfan said. Terms such as, ensuite, lift, torch for flashlight or my all time favorite jumper for sweater. 8) Another clue that the writer is from Britain is was stood/was sat, were stood/were sat for standing or sitting.

Still, while this may make me pause for a moment, it won't make me stop reading if it's a good story. But I do appreciate it when a writer takes the time to make American characters sound American, just as I appreciate British characters sounding British.
The was stood/was sat one always leaps out at me, too, simply because you just can't say it like that in American English. If I'm beta reading something, though, I'll leave the spelling alone in both descriptive passages and dialogue (heck, lately I've caught myself slipping an extra "u" into some words), and I won't mess with certain grammatical constructions as long as they aren't in dialogue. In that case I'll recommend changing it, simply because it's not something an American would say.

Alyssa, some of the spelling changes can probably be attributed to a desire to move away from what I've seen termed as "Britain's linguistic hegemony." It's also interesting to note, however, that spelling wasn't really standardized until recently. Even now spelling isn't entirely uniform. I don't consider American spellings to be lazy, just different. And they certainly aren't simpler to learn - spelling in any form of English is rather arbitrary at times (my favorites are words like "bough" and "cough")! Whether Noah Webster and others were right or not in desiring to somehow linguistically differentiate the US from England, by now there are several centuries of (somewhat) standardized American ways of spelling certain words and that's what most Americans are accustomed to seeing.

That said, as I said above, I don't find spelling to really be an issue when I'm reading a story. I don't mind if the description uses British spellings, or if Elizabeth tells John that his "behaviour" is unacceptable. What would throw me off is seeing John tell someone about his "flat" back in Chicago. It's the terminology more than the spelling.

Sorry, didn't mean to get all rambly like that! :S

L.A. Doyle
June 16th, 2006, 09:52 PM
What will make me stop, or at least say, oh, this writer is British is terms as jckfan said. Terms such as, ensuite, lift, torch for flashlight or my all time favorite jumper for sweater. 8) Another clue that the writer is from Britain is was stood/was sat, were stood/were sat for standing or sitting.

Still, while this may make me pause for a moment, it won't make me stop reading if it's a good story. But I do appreciate it when a writer takes the time to make American characters sound American, just as I appreciate British characters sounding British.

Me too. :)

Arctic Goddess
June 16th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Does anyone here speak Canadian, eh?

That would be, Tim Bits, eh?

Chrysalis
June 17th, 2006, 05:55 PM
The was stood/was sat one always leaps out at me, too, simply because you just can't say it like that in American English.

So you can't say that in American English? I wonder who is it using that, because I've seen it in fanfics, and always assumed it to be an American saying. Perhaps it's slang.. people like you don't use it, but others do. Then again, maybe it's English English slang. It wouldn't be accepted in Australia, that's for sure.

Another one that stands out to me is "get off of". If you said "off of" in an English class here, you'd be lucky to escape with your life intact!

And one that's always confused me is the "I could care less". I've been told it's sarcasm. We're masters of sarcasm in Australia, but I still don't get it! We say "I couldn't care less", meaning it's not possible for me to care less than I do. The "I could care less" just brings to mind the fact that the person could actually care less than they do, and if they say that, they must actually care quite a bit. Ugh! Confusing! I don't know if any of that makes any sense.

The flat/apartment isn't the only interesting one when it comes to property. My cousin in England calls all houses that are single storey bungalows. As in "the builder got bored and he bunged a low roof on it". Over here, there are houses we call bungalows, but they're a certain design -- Californian Bungalows. Houses are just houses, whether single or double storey.

Oh, and here we go: ground floor, first floor, second floor, etc. where I believe you say first floor, second floor, third floor....

L.A. Doyle
June 17th, 2006, 06:44 PM
So you can't say that in American English? I wonder who is it using that, because I've seen it in fanfics, and always assumed it to be an American saying. Perhaps it's slang.. people like you don't use it, but others do. Then again, maybe it's English English slang. It wouldn't be accepted in Australia, that's for sure.


Must be English English slang, because if I heard someone say was stood/was sat outloud...well, I've never heard anyone say it outloud and find it strange when I read it in fanfics. It's not an American thing as far as I know.

Mr Prophet
June 17th, 2006, 11:46 PM
Must be English English slang, because if I heard someone say was stood/was sat outloud...well, I've never heard anyone say it outloud and find it strange when I read it in fanfics. It's not an American thing as far as I know.

I certainly wouldn't use 'was stood'; it should be either 'stood' or 'was standing'.

As to 'off of', I'm trying to persuade people to adopt it as specifically the correct form for describing someone's televisual affiliation, as in: 'Richard Dean Anderson off of Stargate'.

Chrysalis
June 18th, 2006, 04:12 AM
I certainly wouldn't use 'was stood'; it should be either 'stood' or 'was standing'.

As to 'off of', I'm trying to persuade people to adopt it as specifically the correct form for describing someone's televisual affiliation, as in: 'Richard Dean Anderson off of Stargate'.

The 'of' is really not needed. It's one of the ones that drives me crazy, along with 'for free'. If something's free, it's not 'for' anything! ARGH!

LurkerLa
June 18th, 2006, 05:00 AM
So you can't say that in American English? I wonder who is it using that, because I've seen it in fanfics, and always assumed it to be an American saying. Perhaps it's slang.. people like you don't use it, but others do. Then again, maybe it's English English slang. It wouldn't be accepted in Australia, that's for sure.

Another one that stands out to me is "get off of". If you said "off of" in an English class here, you'd be lucky to escape with your life intact!

And one that's always confused me is the "I could care less". I've been told it's sarcasm. We're masters of sarcasm in Australia, but I still don't get it! We say "I couldn't care less", meaning it's not possible for me to care less than I do. The "I could care less" just brings to mind the fact that the person could actually care less than they do, and if they say that, they must actually care quite a bit. Ugh! Confusing! I don't know if any of that makes any sense.

The flat/apartment isn't the only interesting one when it comes to property. My cousin in England calls all houses that are single storey bungalows. As in "the builder got bored and he bunged a low roof on it". Over here, there are houses we call bungalows, but they're a certain design -- Californian Bungalows. Houses are just houses, whether single or double storey.

Oh, and here we go: ground floor, first floor, second floor, etc. where I believe you say first floor, second floor, third floor....
Huh. I've come across the "was stood" thing so often that I just assumed it was a correct construction in other dialects. Sort of like "needs doing/needs to be done/needs done." (The last is, I believe, grammatically correct in some dialects but certainly not here, despite the fact that my friends insist on using it. :S)

As for "could care less" and "off of," both are incorrect in American English as well. The problem is that many people tend to slur the first phrase when speaking, so they don't hear the "n't" part and when they write it they leave it off. And as for the second... well, it's just wrong. :P And bungalows are definitely a specific style of house over here; the only time I'm likely to refer to a stand-alone dwelling as something other than a house is when I see it as a mansion instead. :)

Yes, over here we say first floor for the ground floor and go up from there. Unless you live in a hilly area and you have two floors that open to the outside - then you might have a ground floor and a first floor. Even then, though, I've seen ground floors followed by second floors, so basically it's just designed to confuse us. :)

Chrysalis
June 18th, 2006, 05:30 AM
Huh. I've come across the "was stood" thing so often that I just assumed it was a correct construction in other dialects. Sort of like "needs doing/needs to be done/needs done." (The last is, I believe, grammatically correct in some dialects but certainly not here, despite the fact that my friends insist on using it. :S)

As for "could care less" and "off of," both are incorrect in American English as well. The problem is that many people tend to slur the first phrase when speaking, so they don't hear the "n't" part and when they write it they leave it off. And as for the second... well, it's just wrong. :P And bungalows are definitely a specific style of house over here; the only time I'm likely to refer to a stand-alone dwelling as something other than a house is when I see it as a mansion instead. :)

Yes, over here we say first floor for the ground floor and go up from there. Unless you live in a hilly area and you have two floors that open to the outside - then you might have a ground floor and a first floor. Even then, though, I've seen ground floors followed by second floors, so basically it's just designed to confuse us. :)

I often think a lot of these things, eg. was stood, etc. are a case of people trying to sound like something they're not. It's kind of Jerry Springeresque, if you know what I mean.

As for the floors, I've actually heard of buildings that don't have 13th floors, because of superstition. How bizarre is that?

Over here, a house is a house, a townhouse is a townhouse (usually in a block of more than one together, usually double storey), a unit is a unit (several, usually single storey buildings on a property together), a flat is a flat, and an apartment is a flat that someone wants to sell for more money, and therefore they call it an apartment!

Mr Prophet
June 18th, 2006, 05:31 AM
Etymologically speaking, a bungalow is a single-storey dwelling, as distinct from a house or terrace. It's nothing to do with a low roof though; the word comes from a Hindi thatched dwelling called a bangala, so if it's a specific style of house it should really be thatched.

LurkerLa
June 18th, 2006, 06:08 AM
I often think a lot of these things, eg. was stood, etc. are a case of people trying to sound like something they're not. It's kind of Jerry Springeresque, if you know what I mean.

As for the floors, I've actually heard of buildings that don't have 13th floors, because of superstition. How bizarre is that?

Over here, a house is a house, a townhouse is a townhouse (usually in a block of more than one together, usually double storey), a unit is a unit (several, usually single storey buildings on a property together), a flat is a flat, and an apartment is a flat that someone wants to sell for more money, and therefore they call it an apartment!
Actually, I've stayed in several hotels that don't have 13th floors. You get on the elevator, and next to the button for floor 12 is the one for floor 14.

Just another little quirk to make things interseting, I guess.

Mr. Prophet, I didn't know that! I knew it referred to a specific type of dwelling, but not the details or the origin of the word. Guess you really do learn something new every day. :)

Mr Prophet
June 18th, 2006, 06:24 AM
Mr. Prophet, I didn't know that! I knew it referred to a specific type of dwelling, but not the details or the origin of the word. Guess you really do learn something new every day. :)

I think it's fascinating that it's gone from a specific to the general and then (in the US at least) back to a different specific.

In the UK we have flats - which may be studio flats if they're particularly pokey - in blocks - which may be tower, low-rise or high-rise - or in houses. I believe the defining characteristic of a flat is that it is 'flat' - all on one floor - so anything on more than one level may be an apartment.

Then there are bungalows (single-storey, standalone), terraces (narrow houses, usually two-to-three storeys, each sharing a wall with its neighbours on each side), semi-detached houses (large, usually two-storey, split down the middle to make two homes) and detached houses (two+ storey, standalone).

You also have cottages (small, usually two-storey and with some claim to quaintness), mansions, manors, granges, farms, crofts and the occasional hovel, but I think these are more geographically than architecturally specific.

Jynjyr
June 19th, 2006, 08:34 AM
I think it's fascinating that it's gone from a specific to the general and then (in the US at least) back to a different specific.

In the UK we have flats - which may be studio flats if they're particularly pokey - in blocks - which may be tower, low-rise or high-rise - or in houses. I believe the defining characteristic of a flat is that it is 'flat' - all on one floor - so anything on more than one level may be an apartment.

Then there are bungalows (single-storey, standalone), terraces (narrow houses, usually two-to-three storeys, each sharing a wall with its neighbours on each side), semi-detached houses (large, usually two-storey, split down the middle to make two homes) and detached houses (two+ storey, standalone).

You also have cottages (small, usually two-storey and with some claim to quaintness), mansions, manors, granges, farms, crofts and the occasional hovel, but I think these are more geographically than architecturally specific.
Geeze, and I live in a house known as a 'Ranch-style'. All on one floor but, no basement (cellar) and it's spread out so the bedrooms are at one end, the kitchen and dining room are in the middle and the living room is at the other end. I used to live in a house called a 'bungalow' which had all the rooms on one floor but with a basement for the laundry.
A semi-detached house, for me, was a side-by-side duplex, as opposed to an up-and-down duplex.
OY - I'm so confused.

ShimmeringStar
June 20th, 2006, 07:58 AM
I think it's fascinating that it's gone from a specific to the general and then (in the US at least) back to a different specific.

In the UK we have flats - which may be studio flats if they're particularly pokey - in blocks - which may be tower, low-rise or high-rise - or in houses. I believe the defining characteristic of a flat is that it is 'flat' - all on one floor - so anything on more than one level may be an apartment.

Then there are bungalows (single-storey, standalone), terraces (narrow houses, usually two-to-three storeys, each sharing a wall with its neighbours on each side), semi-detached houses (large, usually two-storey, split down the middle to make two homes) and detached houses (two+ storey, standalone).

You also have cottages (small, usually two-storey and with some claim to quaintness), mansions, manors, granges, farms, crofts and the occasional hovel, but I think these are more geographically than architecturally specific.
An apartment (around here, U.S., Mid-Atlantic East Coast) would normally refer to a dwelling unit that one rents and in which you have no ownership. It may refer to a single room dwelling above a garage that you rent out, a suite of rooms (usually with a separate entrance) in a single-family, detached home, a multi-floor concrete/steel/brick building that has multiple living units in it, etc. So the configuration of the space wouldn't define it, but the fact that you didn't own it would.

A condominium (most of the time) is similar to an apartment's dwelling space, normally in a large building, but the difference being that you actually have ownership of the 'airspace' inside the walls (and you get to pay the property taxes & all that other nice stuff it for instead of your landlord being responsible for it!:)) (Although some in some condo buildings you might buy 'shares' of ownership and not really own the airspace/floorspace, but a percentage of the entire cooperative.) Can be spread over multiple-floors/levels, just as an apartment could be if the building was built just right.

"Studios" ususally would refer to the size - a studio apartment or condo or hotel room usually referring to a really small room, normally with a bathroom attached. (Near where I work they're building they tore down an entire block and are nearly complete on building highrises - the condos they have for sale over there range from 'studio' size to 3/4 bedrooms - and those wee-studio-sized closets prices begin around $200-300K and larger ones selling for over $1 million! :eek:)

What you call terraces we'd call townhouses.:) Though it's interesting now, many developers are building what looks like a row of terraces/townhouses, but on the inside they're either single-floor or multi-floor condos....:S Though some places (like in NYC) teraces/townhouses are referred to as 'brownstones' because of the brown brick or stones used to build them or may even be called 'rowhouses' (in Baltimore).

The semi-detached's here are marketed as "duplexes". *grins* Actually split any single family home in half - they'll call it a duplex these days. :P:D

Cottages and bungalows would be pretty interchangeable and usually would put me in mind of a great number of wee small single-family detached homes built in the 1920's-1940's. Many from kits that people could mail order from Sears, Roebuck & Co., etc.

Detached, likely would just be called single-family detached homes. They can be ranch-style (w/or w/out a basement) (ours has a walkout basement being up on a hill), two/three story, various styles (Federal, Victorian, etc.).

Some similiarties there. Some differences too. :)

SGLAB
June 20th, 2006, 08:25 AM
Geeze, and I live in a house known as a 'Ranch-style'. All on one floor but, no basement (cellar) and it's spread out so the bedrooms are at one end, the kitchen and dining room are in the middle and the living room is at the other end. I used to live in a house called a 'bungalow' which had all the rooms on one floor but with a basement for the laundry.
A semi-detached house, for me, was a side-by-side duplex, as opposed to an up-and-down duplex.
OY - I'm so confused.

I grew up in a ranch style house that had a basement. Now I live in a duplex and I've been told it was once a single house, but they walled off the other half separating it into two parts at some point.

Gatetrixer
July 25th, 2006, 08:00 PM
British spellings don't bother me either. In fact, half the time anymore I don't even know if it's British or American and am just as likely to spell it British myself, so it doesn't throw me out of a story.

What will make me stop, or at least say, oh, this writer is British is terms as jckfan said. Terms such as, ensuite, lift, torch for flashlight or my all time favorite jumper for sweater. 8) Another clue that the writer is from Britain is was stood/was sat, were stood/were sat for standing or sitting.

Still, while this may make me pause for a moment, it won't make me stop reading if it's a good story. But I do appreciate it when a writer takes the time to make American characters sound American, just as I appreciate British characters sounding British.

Another Brit clue is "he might have done" for "he might have."

I have a question: I' m sure I heard Cam say "Bob's your uncle" near the end of Morpheus. Now I have never heard of this as an American expression. It's Brit through and through the last I knew. Did I really hear Cam say this?

Gatetrixer
July 25th, 2006, 08:04 PM
I grew up in a ranch style house that had a basement. Now I live in a duplex and I've been told it was once a single house, but they walled off the other half separating it into two parts at some point.

I live in a ranch style with a basement. In the Midwest. In different parts of the country, many houses do not have basements, in the western part that I visited-- few basements.

Major Tyler
July 25th, 2006, 08:05 PM
I have a question: I' m sure I heard Cam say "Bob's your uncle" near the end of Morpheus. Now I have never heard of this as an American expression. It's Brit through and through the last I knew. Did I really hear Cam say this?It's one of those well-known British phrases that Americans use on occasion, just for fun. It's like "bloody hell"...we all know its a British saying, but we occasionally use it anyway. I use "git" a lot because of my Irish co-worker. :P

Wasn't "Bob" a nepotistic Prime Minister, or something?

LurkerLa
July 25th, 2006, 08:06 PM
I have a question: I' m sure I heard Cam say "Bob's your uncle" near the end of Morpheus. Now I have never heard of this as an American expression. It's Brit through and through the last I knew. Did I really hear Cam say this?
I heard it as well. I've heard the phrase often before, but I never really paid enough attention to where and when I heard it to mark it as distinctly British.

I should start paying more attention, huh?

Gatetrixer
July 25th, 2006, 08:14 PM
This may have been covered before, but is "the high street" like Main Street in the US?

In my experience the streets called "High Street" in the US are usually the highest street from a series starting at the bottom of a hill. Such as in a small town built on the long sloping banks of a river --the street running parallel to the river may even be "Main Street," then another parallel to that, etc. ending up with "High Street."

KatG
July 26th, 2006, 04:17 AM
Another Brit clue is "he might have done" for "he might have."

I have a question: I' m sure I heard Cam say "Bob's your uncle" near the end of Morpheus. Now I have never heard of this as an American expression. It's Brit through and through the last I knew. Did I really hear Cam say this?

It's a southern expression too, which fits with Cam's background. I think he's from NC, which was heavily settled by Brits, Scots, and Irish,(along with most of the southeast) so it probably carried over.

Gatetrixer
July 26th, 2006, 05:03 PM
It's a southern expression too, which fits with Cam's background. I think he's from NC, which was heavily settled by Brits, Scots, and Irish,(along with most of the southeast) so it probably carried over.

Okay, it's interesting that it's also a southern expression, and Cam has been known to say things that sound Southern(BB from Tenn?), but then why are people saying he is going to go to his Kansas high school reunion in an upcoming episode?

KatG
July 27th, 2006, 05:53 AM
Okay, it's interesting that it's also a southern expression, and Cam has been known to say things that sound Southern(BB from Tenn?), but then why are people saying he is going to go to his Kansas high school reunion in an upcoming episode?

I guess he could have been raised in the south for most of his formative years, but moved to Kansas before he graduated. I know hubs was raised in NC, but at 13 his family moved to Chicago. While he picked up some "Chicagoisms", he never really lost the southern sayings, and as soon as he moved back south, it wasn't long before he picked the accent right back up. He also stayed with his Grandma/Grandpa in the summers, which Cam may well have done too.

As to southern expressions mimicking UK ones, a friend of mine traveled to Scotland a few years ago, and said that she was surprised at the expressions that were similar to what we use here in the south. So I guess there's something to it.

L.A. Doyle
August 3rd, 2006, 04:32 PM
It's a southern expression too, which fits with Cam's background. I think he's from NC, which was heavily settled by Brits, Scots, and Irish,(along with most of the southeast) so it probably carried over.

Hum. I've lived in the south my whole life and never heard that expression. Learn something new everyday. :)

Lauriel
August 10th, 2006, 05:27 PM
This is a great thread! I'm Australian, but I have a Welsh/English beta (and grammar goddess) and an American beta (who tries her best to stop my flyboys from sounding like they study literature), so I manage to muddle through- I think.

The terminology is more of a problem than the spelling, for me. I find the spelling a small bother- but John Sheppard should not sound like John Steed (Avangers). That's just not taking the effort to develop your characters and stay true to the character. That said, some mistakes do get made due to being unaware of the difference, rather than lazy or pig-headed.

With Cam saying 'Bob's your Uncle'- I'm pretty sure it isn't an American saying, as it came up earlier in this thread, but BB might have picked up a few Australian sayings, too. Claudia Black is Australian, as are a lot of the production crew of Farscape. Wasnít some of it filmed in Aus too? (I wasnít a big fan, sorry, so I donít know the details.)

Also, regarding was stood/was sat: I believe if you are using English/Australian/etc, the correct version is ďit stood in the corner.Ē If you are using American, the correct version is ďit stood in the corner.Ē If you are using ignorance, the correct version is ďit was stood in the corner.Ē

Hereís an interesting poem from my Linguistics book. Itís called ĎEnglishí by Richard Krogh.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Some may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, slough and through?
So now you are ready, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; itís said like bed, not bead;
For goodnessí sake donít call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat.
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

There now- easy! I can't understand how English could be considered confusing at all... :D

Shep'sSocks
August 10th, 2006, 05:30 PM
So, Lauriel, did it stand in the corner or not? :P

Lauriel
August 10th, 2006, 05:34 PM
So, Lauriel, did it stand in the corner or not? :P
:lol: Why, yes! I believe it did! Why it has an obsession with corners is the real question...

thistledown
September 26th, 2006, 01:11 AM
Great idea for a thread!

The thing that really stood out for me the last time I read a fic by a Brit was the phrase, "catch them up" as in, "I'm sorry I can't stay and talk. My friends are getting ahead of me and I really must catch them up."

An American or a Canadian would say, "I have to catch up with them."

If you didn't like someone, and you wanted to undermine their success at something, or deliberately put an obstacle (literal or figurative) in their path, you might refer to, "tripping them up".
As in, "Everytime I see her she's trying to trip him up. I don't think she really wants him to get the job."

Another recent one was "cruets". I hadn't heard that in YEARS (and I think it had been in Lit class, or from my British Grannie). It took me a few moments to remember what it meant. In the US or Canada salt and pepper sit on the table in "shakers". If you have one of those fancy sets where the peppercorns are whole and there's a grinding handle on top, then it's a salt shaker and a pepper mill. Liquids like oil and vineger are rarely on the table, but when they are, they're in "bottles". If the bottle has a spout, it MAY be refered to as a "decanter".

:)
AT

ddc
December 7th, 2006, 04:11 PM
Just stumbled on this today, read the whole thing. I am so glad to see I'm not the only one who is annoyed by the "was sat/stood" business, which I see so often I had thought it might have been an acceptable non-American form (maybe teenspeak?).

Commenting of some of the discussion: The non-American spellings don't bother me, but characters who are supposed to be American using obvious British terms (jumper, mum, torch, car park) does. As for American regional, here in the NY area we tend to sprinkle in Yiddish terms (oy, schlep, chutzpah) and we stand on line, not in line. And generally no one on the East Coast goes to the beach, we go down/to the Shore, Ocean, Cape, Island.

Some differences that I can think of that I don't recall seeing mentioned -

In the US we say "to go", not "take away" and "appetiser" not "starter". Versions of ice cream soda were discussed, but no one mentioned milk shake v. frappe (New England). Another American regionalism is sack (Mid-west and South) instead of bag. And we don't use motorway, but highway or freeway, depending on where you're from. [That's actually a pet peeve of mine on TV shows that are produced in LA but are not supposed to take place in California but the characters say Freeway or "The ___(number)"; most of the country only uses "The" before a road name (LIE, Parkway, Throughway, etc.) and just says the number or I- ___ (Interstate) for a numbered highway.]




...Another recent one was "cruets". I hadn't heard that in YEARS (and I think it had been in Lit class, or from my British Grannie). It took me a few moments to remember what it meant. In the US or Canada salt and pepper sit on the table in "shakers". If you have one of those fancy sets where the peppercorns are whole and there's a grinding handle on top, then it's a salt shaker and a pepper mill. Liquids like oil and vineger are rarely on the table, but when they are, they're in "bottles". If the bottle has a spout, it MAY be refered to as a "decanter".

AT

I've always used cruet for oil/vineger/salad dressing. A decanter is larger and used for liquor or wine. And the only bottle that ever goes on the dinner table is a wine bottle; milk, juice and water are served from the kitchen or transferred into a pitcher.

Lauriel
December 7th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Thanks for your contribution to this thread ddc!

I really love learning all these differences, out of pure interest as well as helping me in my fanfics. I must admit I've still go no idea what cruet is! :D

Just one small thing - it may be regional, I'm not sure. In Australia, a milkshake is made from milk, flavouring, and ice-cream, whereas a frappe is made from milk, flavouring, and crushed ice. So in Australia they are actually different drinks, not different names.

We also had an interesting discussion on the whump thread the other day concerning the American and Australian uses of the word "root". In America it means to cheer or support, and it can be used that way in Australia too, but more often than not it's a slang term to describe something a little more naughty. :o

jckfan55
December 8th, 2006, 06:42 AM
Some differences that I can think of that I don't recall seeing mentioned -
And we don't use motorway, but highway or freeway, depending on where you're from. [That's actually a pet peeve of mine on TV shows that are produced in LA but are not supposed to take place in California but the characters say Freeway or "The ___(number)"; most of the country only uses "The" before a road name (LIE, Parkway, Throughway, etc.) and just says the number or I- ___ (Interstate) for a numbered highway.]



Oh, that's so true! Thanks for mentioning it.

jckfan55
December 21st, 2006, 08:16 AM
Not a "talking American" question, more of an "acting American" question: Is it only people in the US who switch hands with their knives and forks when cutting & eating food? I know in Europe they don't, but I don't know about Canada. I was watching "Heroes" and it looks like Fraiser doesn't switch hands.

KatG
December 21st, 2006, 12:13 PM
I think it's an American thing. I know it's how I was raised, but I've been "Briticized" to not switching hands now, and honestly it makes much more sense.

Gatetrixer
December 21st, 2006, 04:07 PM
Not a "talking American" question, more of an "acting American" question: Is it only people in the US who switch hands with their knives and forks when cutting & eating food? I know in Europe they don't, but I don't know about Canada. I was watching "Heroes" and it looks like Fraiser doesn't switch hands.

I noticed Fraiser doing that too, or rather not doing it (switching hands). I don't know whether Canadians eat like the Europeans or not. I do know that I heard a Canadian call table napkins, serviettes, but at the time I wasn't watching her eating methods.

Wineblood
December 21st, 2006, 04:45 PM
Not a "talking American" question, more of an "acting American" question: Is it only people in the US who switch hands with their knives and forks when cutting & eating food? I know in Europe they don't, but I don't know about Canada. I was watching "Heroes" and it looks like Fraiser doesn't switch hands.

What do you mean by switching? I've never seen anything remotely like it.

jckfan55
December 22nd, 2006, 08:53 AM
What do you mean by switching? I've never seen anything remotely like it.

For example if you're right handed--you're eating merrily with the fork in your right hand. But then you need to cut meat or something with your knife. You hold the meat with your fork with your left hand & use the knife with your right. Then you put the knife down, and switch your fork back to your right hand to eat the item.

Lauriel
December 22nd, 2006, 10:48 AM
Isn't that awkward? Is this practice everywhere in America? And if so, is it recent? I was in Arizona and New Mexico for a while when I was younger, and I don't recall seeing it - although that may just be my memory, too. :)

KatG
December 22nd, 2006, 10:56 AM
I'm pretty sure it's a standard practice in the south. Like I said, it's how I was raised, everyone in my family eats that way. It's supposed to be the "polite" way to eat I think. :) It was only when someone pointed out how awkward it was that I switched and realized they were right.

Lauriel
December 22nd, 2006, 11:00 AM
I'm just amazed because I've never heard of it before - and as I've said, I've been to the States, albiet that was over 10 years ago. Well, learn something new every day, as they say. :) :)

Gate Geek
December 22nd, 2006, 02:01 PM
For example if you're right handed--you're eating merrily with the fork in your right hand. But then you need to cut meat or something with your knife. You hold the meat with your fork with your left hand & use the knife with your right. Then you put the knife down, and switch your fork back to your right hand to eat the item.


Isn't that awkward? Is this practice everywhere in America? And if so, is it recent? I was in Arizona and New Mexico for a while when I was younger, and I don't recall seeing it - although that may just be my memory, too. :)

:lol: I switch hands all the time when I eat. I just thought it was because I was left handed.

I thought I read some where that during WW2 escaped American POWs were discovered and hence recaptured because of this hand swap thing while eating.

Lauriel
December 22nd, 2006, 02:13 PM
:lol: I switch hands all the time when I eat. I just thought it was because I was left handed.

I thought I read some where that during WW2 escaped American POWs were discovered and hence recaptured because of this hand swap thing while eating.

Whoops! I hold a great deal of sympathy for any POW, but to escape and get caught again because of a trait like that must have been devestating.

I'm still amazed by this - I don't know why I find it so fascinating, but I do. I'll have to pay closer attention to American shows and the like and see if I can spot it. :)

Gate Geek
December 22nd, 2006, 02:45 PM
Whoops! I hold a great deal of sympathy for any POW, but to escape and get caught again because of a trait like that must have been devestating.

I'm still amazed by this - I don't know why I find it so fascinating, but I do. I'll have to pay closer attention to American shows and the like and see if I can spot it. :)

Just come over for dinner. You can be fascinated by it all you want. :D I won't mind.

Lauriel
December 22nd, 2006, 03:24 PM
Why thank you GG! I'll take you up on that if I ever get back over to the US. :)

Jynjyr
December 22nd, 2006, 05:10 PM
Isn't that awkward? Is this practice everywhere in America? And if so, is it recent? I was in Arizona and New Mexico for a while when I was younger, and I don't recall seeing it - although that may just be my memory, too. :)
Everywhere I've ever been, I've seen people eat like that. That's how I was raised to eat. Sometimes I do the 'european' thing and don't switch hands. It depends on what I'm eating and ... how hungry I am. :o I find it extremely difficult to eat peas with the back of the fork. Unless I have mashed potatoes to mortar them to the fork. :)

Skydiver
December 22nd, 2006, 05:32 PM
i switch hands all the time.

course i have a bad habit of cutting up several pieces of meat, switching to eat it, then switching back to cut more

L.A. Doyle
December 22nd, 2006, 10:51 PM
i switch hands all the time.

course i have a bad habit of cutting up several pieces of meat, switching to eat it, then switching back to cut more

That's exactly what I do. I couldn't imagine not switching hands. *tries to envision it* :P

LurkerLa
December 23rd, 2006, 04:52 AM
Isn't that awkward? Is this practice everywhere in America? And if so, is it recent? I was in Arizona and New Mexico for a while when I was younger, and I don't recall seeing it - although that may just be my memory, too. :)
I used to switch hands - still do, on occassion - but I'm far more comfortable not switching now. It's actually kinda funny, since my brother and I both keep our knives in our dominant hands and use the fork with the other while neither one of our parents does.

It's not a recent phenomenon. I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that it's due to the fact that by the time most of this country was settled with Europeans forks were becoming more or less the primary eating implement (it's what was used to transfer almost all food to the mouth). Thus, it made sense for people to use them with their dominant hands. However, in Europe, people were long accustomed to keeping the knife in the dominant hand - it made sense when the knife was the more common eating implement and forks did not exist. If you used your knife both to cut food and transfer it to your mouth, it would be ingrained in you to keep it in your dominant hand.

Not sure how accurate that is, and I can't verify it because I don't have the faintest idea where I read it. :confused:

Switching hands doesn't seem particularly awkward to most Americans beause it's how we were raised. We don't even think about it, and it makes sense to use to control the journey from plate to mouth with our dominant hand. Some of us have taken to the "European" way of holding our cutlery, but I know to some of my friends it seems rude when I do this. They think that constantly having a knife in hand makes me look impatient - I can barely wait until I finish one bite before I'm ready to cut the next. They wonder why I don't put the knife down and focus on the food that I'm currently eating, and not the next bit.

So, yeah, more than you probably wanted to know, but the point is that it's simply a matter of what your comfortable with that makes it awkward or not, it's not really a recent thing, and as with many things, it's our cultural trappings that can make it seem proper or improper, polite or rude.

You probably didn't notice it when you were over here because it's not exactly something you look for. I mean, who thinks to watch how people eat when they're in a foreign country? :D

(Sorry for the mini-lecture type thing. I have trouble shutting up. :S)

Lauriel
December 24th, 2006, 02:19 PM
I used to switch hands - still do, on occassion - but I'm far more comfortable not switching now. It's actually kinda funny, since my brother and I both keep our knives in our dominant hands and use the fork with the other while neither one of our parents does.

It's not a recent phenomenon. I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that it's due to the fact that by the time most of this country was settled with Europeans forks were becoming more or less the primary eating implement (it's what was used to transfer almost all food to the mouth). Thus, it made sense for people to use them with their dominant hands. However, in Europe, people were long accustomed to keeping the knife in the dominant hand - it made sense when the knife was the more common eating implement and forks did not exist. If you used your knife both to cut food and transfer it to your mouth, it would be ingrained in you to keep it in your dominant hand.

Not sure how accurate that is, and I can't verify it because I don't have the faintest idea where I read it. :confused:

Switching hands doesn't seem particularly awkward to most Americans beause it's how we were raised. We don't even think about it, and it makes sense to use to control the journey from plate to mouth with our dominant hand. Some of us have taken to the "European" way of holding our cutlery, but I know to some of my friends it seems rude when I do this. They think that constantly having a knife in hand makes me look impatient - I can barely wait until I finish one bite before I'm ready to cut the next. They wonder why I don't put the knife down and focus on the food that I'm currently eating, and not the next bit.

So, yeah, more than you probably wanted to know, but the point is that it's simply a matter of what your comfortable with that makes it awkward or not, it's not really a recent thing, and as with many things, it's our cultural trappings that can make it seem proper or improper, polite or rude.

You probably didn't notice it when you were over here because it's not exactly something you look for. I mean, who thinks to watch how people eat when they're in a foreign country? :D

(Sorry for the mini-lecture type thing. I have trouble shutting up. :S)

Don't apologise - like I said, I'm fascinated by this. Still don't know why, but there you go. True, I probably didn't look for it when I was there, and as no-one commented on it, I haven't remembered. Thanks for your explanation - verified or not, it makes sense. :)

ShimmeringStar
January 1st, 2007, 10:09 AM
Everywhere I've ever been, I've seen people eat like that. That's how I was raised to eat. Sometimes I do the 'european' thing and don't switch hands. It depends on what I'm eating and ... how hungry I am. :o I find it extremely difficult to eat peas with the back of the fork. Unless I have mashed potatoes to mortar them to the fork. :)Yep. Depends on what I'm eating too. If everything is soft enough to politely be slicedmashed in half with the fork, then the knife won't get used at all (since one's never sure how others are going to view the switching hands thing!). (Yes, I am a right-hander.)

i switch hands all the time.

course i have a bad habit of cutting up several pieces of meat, switching to eat it, then switching back to cut moreLOL! That's why when I get/am served a plate that has the meats - chicken/steak or firmer veggies - I estimate, okay... should I cut all of it or just half of it? Depends who I'm eating dinner with! :)

That's exactly what I do. I couldn't imagine not switching hands. *tries to envision it* :PLOL! We'd need our SG bibs to catch all the food that missed its mark! :P;):D

EllieV
January 29th, 2007, 12:35 AM
Can someone tell me if Americans use the word "domestics" for arguments between a wife and husband? Not necessarily domestic violence, just an argument.

Jynjyr
January 30th, 2007, 02:47 AM
The official police term is 'domestic disturbance'. ;) That's what the report will read. Otherwise it's an argument or a fight. A lot of yelling, a few door slams, that kind of thing.

Becky22
February 3rd, 2007, 09:11 PM
Talking American a awsome idea, im new here so im not sure what to put in here i been a Harry Potter fan a lot longer then a Stargate fan but my 3nd fav show is Stargate. And I love to help. and make friends on the way. It be tight to see where this goes...

P-90_177
February 3rd, 2007, 10:29 PM
nice to have you here becky22.

P-90_177
February 3rd, 2007, 10:30 PM
For example if you're right handed--you're eating merrily with the fork in your right hand. But then you need to cut meat or something with your knife. You hold the meat with your fork with your left hand & use the knife with your right. Then you put the knife down, and switch your fork back to your right hand to eat the item.

that's the dumbest way of eating i've ever heard of. :mckay:

Jynjyr
February 4th, 2007, 04:43 AM
*tsk-tsk-tsk* http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/Jynjyr/smilies/nono.gif Most of the US eats that way. Just because it's not your way doesn't make it dumb.

P-90_177
February 4th, 2007, 05:33 AM
yes it does. lol
sorry. but it is very strange and would i imagine take up a lot more time.

Jynjyr
February 4th, 2007, 07:52 AM
We like to think of it as 'genteel'. :D In fancy company, one is supposed to put down the utensils between each bite. :rolleyes: I think that's trying to show that the person is at leisure and doesn't have to hurry back to work. I've never had THAT much leisure. LOL

P-90_177
February 4th, 2007, 08:48 AM
We're meant to put them down between each bit too. I don't ut it's apparently what you do.

Dutch_Razor
February 4th, 2007, 11:11 AM
It's kinda time-consuming isn't it?

Time is money, that's the Dutch way :P

ilee1990
February 4th, 2007, 04:02 PM
American table etiquette dictates a switching of hands when eating. It is considered very poor manners (along with holding your fork in a fist while cutting or eating) to eat with two hands. I am horrified every time we go out to a restaurant. I'm amazed to see how many people in this country have apparently never bothered to learn table manners.

Fortunately, it is still taught in many households, private schools, and at the military academies. I run a residential military high school and I love teaching this class.

One of my pet peeves is the way so many people outside of the metro areas on the coasts hold their forks while cutting. The proper way is to hold the fork in your hand by your index finger and thumb, angled downward and the rest of the fingers curled in. The wrong way is to hold it either in a fist, or with all the fingers and thumb hold it.

When I travel to Europe or countries with European influence, I don't switch hands because their table etiquette differs and one should adjust. If you care about manners that is :-)

Men not taking their hats off inside is another example of bad manners. Unfortunately, America is teaming with people who don't have a clue and could care less.

Poor manners: One of the characteristic traits of "the Ugly American".

Lauriel
February 4th, 2007, 04:37 PM
American table etiquette dictates a switching of hands when eating. It is considered very poor manners (along with holding your fork in a fist while cutting or eating) to eat with two hands. I am horrified every time we go out to a restaurant. I'm amazed to see how many people in this country have apparently never bothered to learn table manners.

Fortunately, it is still taught in many households, private schools, and at the military academies. I run a residential military high school and I love teaching this class.

One of my pet peeves is the way so many people outside of the metro areas on the coasts hold their forks while cutting. The proper way is to hold the fork in your hand by your index finger and thumb, angled downward and the rest of the fingers curled in. The wrong way is to hold it either in a fist, or with all the fingers and thumb hold it.

When I travel to Europe or countries with European influence, I don't switch hands because their table etiquette differs and one should adjust. If you care about manners that is :-)

Men not taking their hats off inside is another example of bad manners. Unfortunately, America is teaming with people who don't have a clue and could care less.

Poor manners: One of the characteristic traits of "the Ugly American".

In Australia, correct ettiquette is to hold the fork the way you mentioned in your left hand while cutting with the right, but instead of switching you just raise the fork in your left hand to eat. :D Also agreed about the hats.

Poor manners isn't an epidemic confined to America, unfortunately, so don't be to upset about 'The Ugly American' image. Most of us see the same trait in people from our own countries, and are capable of realising that it is an individualistic personal trait, not a trait that defines a country. :D

Jynjyr
February 4th, 2007, 05:44 PM
OMG! Don't get me started on manners, or the lack thereof, in society today. *GRRRRRR* Basic politeness, the Golden Rule, if you will, is totally ignored. No 'please', no 'thank you', no 'excuse me'. People are shocked that I'll hold a door open for them. Or that I wait my turn in line at the deli.

Stop, Stop, STOP!! I could go on forever. :mad:

jckfan55
February 5th, 2007, 11:58 AM
I just heard something on the radio this weekend about the expression "to table" something. Generally in the US we use it (for example in business meetings) to mean put something aside indefinitely. Outside the US they use it to mean to bring an idea forward (onto the table). I noticed this in a Stargate episode where Hammond said that Daniel had "tabled a request" and though I knew what he meant, it seemed a bit odd to me. Must have been a Canadianism. ;)

Dutch_Razor
February 5th, 2007, 10:10 PM
Weird in Holland we say we shove it off the table, or put it up , never put it on the table lol.

maneth
February 6th, 2007, 05:05 AM
Great thread!

Amazing what differences there are in vocabulary between the US, UK and Oceania. It's a bit confusing for us foreigners who try to learn English. I originally learned it when I was 12/13 and my parents worked for a year in the UK. In my twenties I somehow switched to American spelling, because my vocabulary and usage was becoming Americanized and it was easier to stay consistent that way. My speaking accent remains British/transatlantic and I'm far more likely to call a plumber to fix the leaking tap rather than the faucet. I'm a professional translator, and as such need to know both, because it's up to my clients to decide which English variant they want to use. Europeans are generally more comfortable with British spelling, but that's changing.

wurlitzer153
January 29th, 2008, 06:29 PM
This thread has been dead way too long for being topical for fanfics, so I decided to bump it for newer members.

s09119
January 31st, 2008, 09:50 AM
Wow... people were arguing over table manners? I eat how I want to, and if I want to grip my knife a weird way or hold my utensils while I eat, I will. If whomever I'm eating with has a problem with it, they're going to have to deal with it...

Traveler Enroute1
February 13th, 2008, 01:04 PM
that's the dumbest way of eating i've ever heard of. :mckay:


We like to think of it as 'genteel'. :D In fancy company, one is supposed to put down the utensils between each bite. :rolleyes: I think that's trying to show that the person is at leisure and doesn't have to hurry back to work. I've never had THAT much leisure. LOL

Sounds awkward but most American kids learn this fairly early. My understanding about the "switching" was that it was taboo to eat with the left hand, or really let the left hand be dominant. Left-handers like my sister had it rough as a child. Teachers, ministers, parents would insist the child learn to use the "right" hand, that is the right hand. The origins of this are a little obscure to me but I think it had something to do with religious teachings.

Anyway, just looked up something that gives a little insight:
American Table Manners: How to Use a Knife and Fork

The Zig Zag Method
By American custom, which was brought about partly by the late introduction of the fork into the culture, all three utensils are intended for use primarily with the right hand, which is the more capable hand for most people. This leads to some complicated maneuvering when foods, such as meat, require the use of knife and fork to obtain a bite of manageable size. When this is the case, the fork is held in the left hand, turned so that the tines point downward, the better to hold the meat in place while the right hand operates the knife. After a bite-sized piece has been cut, the diner sets the knife down on the plate and transfers the fork to the right hand, so that it can be used to carry the newly cut morsel to the mouth. Emily Post calls this the "zig-zag" style.

European Style
The European, or "Continental," style of using knife and fork is somewhat more efficient, and its practice is also common in the United States, where left-handed children are no longer forced to learn to wield a fork with their right hands. According to this method, the fork is held continuously in the left hand and used for eating. When food must be cut, the fork is used exactly as in the American style, except that once the bite has been separated from the whole, it is conveyed directly to the mouth on the downward-facing fork. Regardless of which style is used to operate fork and knife, it is important never to cut more than one or two bites at one time.
(Source: www.cuisinenet.com/glossary/tableman.html)
Just sayin', I find the differences not only in practice but of the perceptions of what these differences tell about cultures fascinating. As my sig says, well, what it says!

any_gopher
February 13th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Sounds awkward but most American kids learn this fairly early. My understanding about the "switching" was that it was taboo to eat with the left hand, or really let the left hand be dominant. Left-handers like my sister had it rough as a child. Teachers, ministers, parents would insist the child learn to use the "right" hand, that is the right hand. The origins of this are a little obscure to me but I think it had something to do with religious teachings.

Anyway, just looked up something that gives a little insight:
American Table Manners: How to Use a Knife and Fork

The Zig Zag Method
By American custom, which was brought about partly by the late introduction of the fork into the culture, all three utensils are intended for use primarily with the right hand, which is the more capable hand for most people. This leads to some complicated maneuvering when foods, such as meat, require the use of knife and fork to obtain a bite of manageable size. When this is the case, the fork is held in the left hand, turned so that the tines point downward, the better to hold the meat in place while the right hand operates the knife. After a bite-sized piece has been cut, the diner sets the knife down on the plate and transfers the fork to the right hand, so that it can be used to carry the newly cut morsel to the mouth. Emily Post calls this the "zig-zag" style.

European Style
The European, or "Continental," style of using knife and fork is somewhat more efficient, and its practice is also common in the United States, where left-handed children are no longer forced to learn to wield a fork with their right hands. According to this method, the fork is held continuously in the left hand and used for eating. When food must be cut, the fork is used exactly as in the American style, except that once the bite has been separated from the whole, it is conveyed directly to the mouth on the downward-facing fork. Regardless of which style is used to operate fork and knife, it is important never to cut more than one or two bites at one time.
(Source: www.cuisinenet.com/glossary/tableman.html)
Just sayin', I find the differences not only in practice but of the perceptions of what these differences tell about cultures fascinating. As my sig says, well, what it says!

I wouldn't say most, because I've never met anymore who has learned this. I actually haven't heard it until just now... it sounds like a super-freakin' high-class thing or something lol.

PuddleJumper42
February 13th, 2008, 10:37 PM
I wouldn't say most, because I've never met anymore who has learned this. I actually haven't heard it until just now... it sounds like a super-freakin' high-class thing or something lol.

My dad (who was born left-handed in a middle class family) had to learn everything with his right hand and still uses his right hand as his dominant hand.

On another note, my brother and sister (both lefties) don't switch hands while eating, but I do. (I'm right handed.)

KatG
February 14th, 2008, 06:19 AM
I wouldn't say most, because I've never met anymore who has learned this. I actually haven't heard it until just now... it sounds like a super-freakin' high-class thing or something lol.

I was raised in Georgia, in a small rural town, not too many super-freakin' high class people, and was taught from a very early age to switch hands when eating with a knife and fork. Everyone I knew did it. It's just the way it was.

Traveler Enroute1
February 14th, 2008, 06:56 AM
I wouldn't say most, because I've never met anymore who has learned this. I actually haven't heard it until just now... it sounds like a super-freakin' high-class thing or something lol.
LOL! High class! Well, maybe aspiring middle class. I doubt it's a regional thing (I grew up in NYC) so I'm thinking its a generational one; everyone I knew from childhood on learned the zig-zag method. Now I think on it, probably instigated by Emily Post, the touchstone of middle American manners back when! Nowadays I still have to consciously pick up the cut tid bit while the fork is in my left hand. It is simpler.


My dad (who was born left-handed in a middle class family) had to learn everything with his right hand and still uses his right hand as his dominant hand.
On another note, my brother and sister (both lefties) don't switch hands while eating, but I do. (I'm right handed.)

Yeah, sounds generational. Making one learn to use the right hand although by nature they are left handed only helped when they were sitting with other right-handers and the dreaded "elbow-duel" is avoided. Elbow-dueling results when a lefty is next to a righty and they keep bumping elbows as they maneuver their eating utensils. The solution is to let lefties sit at the left but that didn't always happen. I'll bet your dad has a lot of horror stories when it came to learning to write! My poor sister does.

Just sayin', even now I note that my friends mostly use the zig-zag method, and like me, they tend to switch techniques throughout the meal. Hmm. Wonder if a the Stargate people ran into a race of left handers would there be a big difference? Oh, plot bunny running amok! ;)

jckfan55
February 14th, 2008, 07:31 AM
Everyone I know uses the zig zag method and we're hardly high fallutin' types.
In fact (Americans) doing it the European way seems pretentious to us.

JoeHundredaire
February 14th, 2008, 07:34 AM
I've got essential tremor; I use whatever damn head is working that day.

Traveler Enroute1
February 14th, 2008, 12:41 PM
I was raised in Georgia, in a small rural town, not too many super-freakin' high class people, and was taught from a very early age to switch hands when eating with a knife and fork. Everyone I knew did it. It's just the way it was.

Just sayin', that's about it. Parents teach children to use utensils the way they were taught. Thankfully it's without the "left - hand is the devil's hand" nonsense! This conversation made me hungry. :o

Macabea
May 23rd, 2010, 08:54 PM
Well. Nobody's updated in awhile, figure I should give it a go, as I think this forum is hilarious. Particularly with the word 'fanny'.

Normally, being Canadian and thus being forced to read both US and UK literature, most words don't stick out to me and I often overlook them. The basic ones I see over and over again, and make me pause every time...

Lift= Elevator
Loo= Bathroom/washroom or toilet (Is loo an English term or an Australian term?)
Flat= Apartment
Torch= Flashlight
Rubbish bin= Trash/Garbage can (I winced when I read a fanfic where Jack told sam to throw something out in the "Rubbish bin." Suddenly in my head the Minnesotan accent was thrown out the window.

And the next two are words I'm not sure if they're popularly used in the UK, but I see them a lot.

Gaol= I'm assuming jail
Tyre= I'm assuming as in car tire

Another thing with being Canadian, I can clearly tell when an author's Canadian when they use the word 'Tuque'. As far as I know the word isn't too popular in most parts of the states. I always kind of roll my eyes, it's almost as bad as Jack using the word 'Rubbish'. Then again, maybe it's similar to spelling the Canada/UK way of centre, instead of center. Oftentimes those words I don't even notice, up until I read the dialogue.

I would much prefer Sam (as an American character) say "it's on the centre console"

than Jack say "Grab me that torch, would ya?"

For me as long as the words in the character dialogue is spot on cannonwise- I really don't notice the way people spell eg. centre, colour etc etc.

It's so funny how miscommunication with spelling can really irk people, like seriously drive them up the wall. I was at a football game one time, and all these cheerleaders were spelling out the word 'Defence' amidst leg kicks, when suddenly this guy (with a really broad newfoundlander accent) stands up behind me and goes "For the *sake* of all that is good and holy- it's spelled with an S!!!" He kept yelling and yelling and yelling and in my head I remember thinking 'what an idiot. It's obviously spelled with a C'. Now I don't know what to think.

dipsofjazz
May 24th, 2010, 09:27 AM
Gaol= This is an old way of spelling 'jail' in the UK. You still see the word, although most people will use 'jail'.

Tyre= This is the British English spelling for the US English 'tire'

'Defence' = This is the way we spell it in the UK.

thekillman
May 24th, 2010, 09:38 AM
ah the most hilarious thing in the universe: mistranslating proverbs. :D

are there any significant differences between proverbs in american and english?

jckfan55
May 24th, 2010, 09:41 AM
I would much prefer Sam (as an American character) say "it's on the centre console"

than Jack say "Grab me that torch, would ya?"

:) True. Even though I know a torch is a flashlight, for a second I always picture a burning torch like those carried by angry mobs in Frankenstein movies. :D

RubberJesus
May 24th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Here's one for you...

What do American's say when your headlights are are at max?... In the UK we call it full beam.

Thanks

high beams or brights

wurlitzer153
July 1st, 2012, 02:21 PM
This topic comes up so often in the Pet Peeves thread that I decided it's time to bump it up for our newer members.