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Mr Prophet
December 2nd, 2004, 12:51 PM
As I understand it, in the Harry Potter fanfic community there are a large number of English fans who provide 'Anglicisation' hints for US writers. I was wondering if there would be some mileage in a thread in which UK (and other) writers could solicit advice on US slang from the forum's American members?

What do people think?

brihana25
December 2nd, 2004, 01:20 PM
I think it's an excellent idea, and I'd be glad to help out. :)

tera'ngan
December 2nd, 2004, 02:49 PM
Did you have any specific phrases in mind?

-tera'ngan

KatG
December 2nd, 2004, 03:41 PM
It's a really good idea. Why don't you start one? :)

Whatshername
December 2nd, 2004, 05:35 PM
Wow, that's great. I'd be willing to help-supply phrases or whatever.

Cpn. Chris(tine) Bowman
December 2nd, 2004, 05:46 PM
I'd gladly help any French and Spanish speakers if they need an American equivalent for expressions and jokes and the like :)

Skydiver
December 2nd, 2004, 06:51 PM
i can help translate english into american :)

Dana_Jeanne
December 2nd, 2004, 07:23 PM
I think it's a great idea. Nothing bugs me more than to have British slang come out of Jack's mouth....
Dana Jeanne

Erik Pasternak
December 2nd, 2004, 07:23 PM
I read the differences between the UK and American versions of Harry Potter, so I think I could help out with that. Like Cpn. Bowman, I could also do some Spanish stuff. I'm not a fluent speaker, as I am still learning, but I'm among the top spanish students at my school.

priornavalperson
December 2nd, 2004, 07:52 PM
As I understand it, in the Harry Potter fanfic community there are a large number of English fans who provide 'Anglicisation' hints for US writers. I was wondering if there would be some mileage in a thread in which UK (and other) writers could solicit advice on US slang from the forum's American members?

What do people think?
Well, to start with Mr. Prophet, I am an avid reader of your SG1, SG7, and Gorgons fan fictions, but as a former USN PO2 I must tell you that american military personnel are never "seconded" to posts or ships. They are either assigned to their regular units or they are temporarily assigned duty (TAD) for their temporary duty stations.

When you used the phrases "seconded to" or "on temporary secondment to" in some of your fictions, I knew immediately that you were British.

Mr Prophet
December 3rd, 2004, 06:54 AM
Well, to start with Mr. Prophet, I am an avid reader of your SG1, SG7, and Gorgons fan fictions, but as a former USN PO2

Petty Officer 2: This time it's personal!

Hem.

That's ironic actually, since the first time I ever heard the term secondment was in re. of a US military character being seconded to a particular duty, and the line was spoken by that character (with an atrocious Texan accent to boot; go BBC).

priornavalperson
December 3rd, 2004, 04:26 PM
Do you mean that Texican accents are atrocious or that the Texas accent was simulated atrociously?


Petty Officer 2: This time it's personal!

Hem.

That's ironic actually, since the first time I ever heard the term secondment was in re. of a US military character being seconded to a particular duty, and the line was spoken by that character (with an atrocious Texan accent to boot; go BBC).

Major Tyler
December 3rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
Do you mean that Texican accents are atrocious or that the Texas accent was simulated atrociously?Considering it was a BBC production, I'd say it was the latter.

meimei
December 3rd, 2004, 06:14 PM
This is an interesting place to read! I remember the first time I read a fic by a British writer, or I guess it could be Canadian or Australian, they used the word "lounge". It took me backing up and checking context to realize that lounge = living room....


ETA: and Texan accents are awful anyway!! Just kidding... Arkansas and Texas used to be arch rivals in college football (that would be American football) back when I was a teenager!http://forum.gateworld.net/images/gw_icons/icon10.gif

Mr Prophet
December 3rd, 2004, 11:25 PM
Do you mean that Texican accents are atrocious or that the Texas accent was simulated atrociously?



A little from column A...

Major Clanger
December 4th, 2004, 02:31 AM
My beta (who is wonderful and lovely and wise) translates my fics into American. And my slashbeta does the same for my slashfics.

But what about the differences between regional Americanisms? Does it disturb someone from Minnesota, for instance, to read Texanisms (eh?) coming out of Jack in a fic? Or doesn't that occur.

Major Tyler
December 4th, 2004, 08:02 AM
But what about the differences between regional Americanisms? Does it disturb someone from Minnesota, for instance, to read Texanisms (eh?) coming out of Jack in a fic? Or doesn't that occur.I don't know about Minnisotans, but I'm from Montana and if I heard a Montanan character talking like a Texan, I'd notice.


My beta (who is wonderful and lovely and wise) translates my fics into American. And my slashbeta does the same for my slashfics.Isn't a beta a fish? Or is it Betta?

Major Fischer
December 4th, 2004, 05:57 PM
I don't think the regionalism is really a problem since the show handles regional american elements pretty poorly anyway. Just the landscape and city of Colorado Springs for one thing.

I am occasionaly broken from my suspended disbelief in the show when the set decorators or special effects people use non-American standard spellings on US military props and computer screens.

And AT, bless her heart, sounds Canadian occasionally. I've seen TH do the same thing. I wouldn't worry about slang too much in the fics as long as it's not British slang. Regionalism are dying in most parts of this country anyway.

*says the woman who uses "yonder", "a piece", "a mess of", and "y'all" in every day speech.

meimei
December 4th, 2004, 06:04 PM
I don't think the regionalism is really a problem since the show handles regional american elements pretty poorly anyway. Just the landscape and city of Colorado Springs for one thing.

I am occasionaly broken from my suspended disbelief in the show when the set decorators or special effects people use non-American standard spellings on US military props and computer screens.

And AT, bless her heart, sounds Canadian occasionally. I've seen TH do the same thing. I wouldn't worry about slang too much in the fics as long as it's not British slang. Regionalism are dying in most parts of this country anyway.

*says the woman who uses "yonder", "a piece", "a mess of", and "y'all" in every day speech.
LOL! I use y'all all the time! But sometimes I pronounce "coffee" with a Brooklyn accent... Too many years in NYC have messed with my accent... Most of the Brooklynisms have died away after 9 years back in Arkansas.

I have noticed the occasional Canadian accent with AT but I haven't noticed the spelling issues you mentioned. I will have to pay closer attention!

Major Fischer
December 4th, 2004, 06:28 PM
LOL! I use y'all all the time! But sometimes I pronounce "coffee" with a Brooklyn accent... Too many years in NYC have messed with my accent... Most of the Brooklynisms have died away after 9 years back in Arkansas.

I have noticed the occasional Canadian accent with AT but I haven't noticed the spelling issues you mentioned. I will have to pay closer attention!

Look at the spelling on the graphics in Avatar, and any screen that should say "Incoming Traveller."

Erik Pasternak
December 4th, 2004, 10:33 PM
I assume you are referring to how the screen said "armour" and not "armor."

Skydiver
December 5th, 2004, 04:56 AM
i notice AT's accent in her 'hello', especially in forsaken when she calls it out.

she does that long o bit that canadians do.

KatG
December 5th, 2004, 06:24 AM
[QUOTE=meimei]This is an interesting place to read! I remember the first time I read a fic by a British writer, or I guess it could be Canadian or Australian, they used the word "lounge". It took me backing up and checking context to realize that lounge = living room....[QUOTE]

The one that threw me for a loop was "Jack was wearing a really nice jumper". Had this really odd picture in my mind of Jack in a dress. :)

meimei
December 5th, 2004, 07:08 AM
[QUOTE=meimei]This is an interesting place to read! I remember the first time I read a fic by a British writer, or I guess it could be Canadian or Australian, they used the word "lounge". It took me backing up and checking context to realize that lounge = living room....[QUOTE]

The one that threw me for a loop was "Jack was wearing a really nice jumper". Had this really odd picture in my mind of Jack in a dress. :)
ROTFLMAO! I hadn't seen that one yet... But oh, what a picture your comment creates!!

samjack4ever
December 5th, 2004, 08:07 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

Whatshername
December 5th, 2004, 09:00 AM
Mmm...I think you mean "Brights". That's what my mother uses. She always complains that people leave their brights on when coming face-to-face with her car and it blinds her.

keshou
December 5th, 2004, 09:09 AM
But what about the differences between regional Americanisms? Does it disturb someone from Minnesota, for instance, to read Texanisms (eh?) coming out of Jack in a fic? Or doesn't that occur.

In spite of TV, there are still some regional expressions that sound odd in other parts of the country.

If a fanfic had Jack saying "hey ya'll, I'm fixin' to go to the store, whatcha need?", it would throw me off. Or if a character is from Texas and starts talking about soda pop I can be pretty sure the fanfic writer isn't from Texas. We almost never call a soft drink "soda pop".

Of course stuff like that doesn't throw me off as much as Jack wearing a "jumper"! Yeah, Jack in a dress is a lovely image. :D I guess I like the characters to sound the way they do on the show. But if it's a great story I can overlook a lot. ;)

Some of our differences in America are in the accents, rather than the expressions. Hearing a Texan say "I'll go park the car" sounds a lot different than a Bostonian saying the same words. But reading it on the page I immediately hear Jack's voice in my head.

meimei
December 5th, 2004, 09:11 AM
Mmm...I think you mean "Brights". That's what my mother uses. She always complains that people leave their brights on when coming face-to-face with her car and it blinds her.
Or high beams... I've heard that one too.

samjack4ever
December 5th, 2004, 09:23 AM
Mmm...I think you mean "Brights". That's what my mother uses. She always complains that people leave their brights on when coming face-to-face with her car and it blinds her.
Or high beams... I've heard that one too.Thanks...

Major Fischer
December 5th, 2004, 10:46 AM
Or if a character is from Texas and starts talking about soda pop I can be pretty sure the fanfic writer isn't from Texas. We almost never call a soft drink "soda pop".

I think there are two things that make distinct differences.


Carbinated Soft Drinks (soda, pop, coke [no matter the actual beverage], ect).
Sandwich on Long Italian Style Bread (sub, hoogie, grinder, hero, ect).


I went to college in Mississippi, and my roomate was from Illinous. The funniest thing I remember was the first day at breakfest she was asked if she'd like some grits.

She says "Yes, can I try one?"

The cafeteria worker looked at her, looked at the grits (it's a corn based porage or meal a lot like palenta) and says, "I might be able to fish one out for you..."

KatG
December 5th, 2004, 12:12 PM
ROTFLMAO! I hadn't seen that one yet... But oh, what a picture your comment creates!!

It is rather odd isn't it? I was sitting there wondering if I had somehow mistakenly linked to a slash fic with Jack in drag. :D Later I found out that a "jumper" is a pullover sweater or something like that in UK English.

That's the only one that just totally threw me. Other words will give away that the writer isn't American, but I can usually figure out what they mean. Still over all, if the characters are American, and it takes place in the US, then I prefer the story to reflect that.

In the same vein, if I were reading a fic that took place in the U.K., I'd expect the characters and settings to reflect that too.

Whatshername
December 5th, 2004, 01:40 PM
I think there are two things that make distinct differences.


Carbinated Soft Drinks (soda, pop, coke [no matter the actual beverage], ect).
Sandwich on Long Italian Style Bread (sub, hoogie, grinder, hero, ect).


I went to college in Mississippi, and my roomate was from Illinous. The funniest thing I remember was the first day at breakfest she was asked if she'd like some grits.

She says "Yes, can I try one?"

The cafeteria worker looked at her, looked at the grits (it's a corn based porage or meal a lot like palenta) and says, "I might be able to fish one out for you..."

BWHAHAHA! That's hilarious! Oh, man, I can totally see one of my relatives from Buffalo, NY or Cincinati, OH saying that! Or even my parents when they first came to Georgia.

tera'ngan
December 7th, 2004, 07:37 AM
sofa vs. couch
bathrobe vs. housecoat
you (plural) vs. y'all vs. you folks vs. you guys (gender generic)
and don't ask for cornbread, if what you really want in johnny cake! ;)

Sometimes there are regional differences related to businesses that are in the area. If I said "I'm going to Freddy's," folks in the NW would know I meant Fred Meyer, which is an upclass version of WalMart that is not national. (No offense, WalMart fans :) ) What about calling McDonald's "Micky D's?" Is that just an American thing, or is that said in the UK also? My dad's family is from Minnesota and my mom's family is from the south. I grew up in Seattle and went to college in Bellingham (close to Canadian border.) I've got a pretty good ear for dialects!

-tera'ngan

Matt G
December 7th, 2004, 08:15 AM
It's more likely to be Maccy D's in the UK last I checked

meimei
December 7th, 2004, 09:01 AM
sofa vs. couch
bathrobe vs. housecoat
you (plural) vs. y'all vs. you folks vs. you guys (gender generic)
and don't ask for cornbread, if what you really want in johnny cake! ;)

Sometimes there are regional differences related to businesses that are in the area. If I said "I'm going to Freddy's," folks in the NW would know I meant Fred Meyer, which is an upclass version of WalMart that is not national. (No offense, WalMart fans :) ) What about calling McDonald's "Micky D's?" Is that just an American thing, or is that said in the UK also? My dad's family is from Minnesota and my mom's family is from the south. I grew up in Seattle and went to college in Bellingham (close to Canadian border.) I've got a pretty good ear for dialects!

-tera'ngan
We call Walmart Wally World! LOL!

There are various differences in regional things that I learned from most of my life in the South and 11 years in NYC... One of the funniest was when my father-in-law to be came to Oklahoma where we were living from NYC for the wedding. He asked for a "regular" coffee at the hotel restaurant. What he wanted was coffee with milk and sugar, what he got was a regular sized black coffee.

LoneStar1836
December 7th, 2004, 10:20 AM
I think there are two things that make distinct differences.


Carbinated Soft Drinks (soda, pop, coke [no matter the actual beverage], ect).
I call it a coke no matter if I'm referring to a Coke, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper. Now a Pepsi is just a Pepsi. :D Yuck. (ex. You ask somebody if they want a coke or a beer.)

[EDIT] ran across this interesting map of some study that shows generic names of soft drinks by counties in the U.S.

http://www.popvssoda.com/countystats/total-county.html

According to it, Jack is probably gonna ask you whether you want a pop or a beer. [EDIT]



Sandwich on Long Italian Style Bread (sub, hoogie, grinder, hero, ect).

In Louisiana they are called po-boys unless you are eating at Subway.

Hatcheter
December 7th, 2004, 12:25 PM
If a fanfic had Jack saying "hey ya'll, I'm fixin' to go to the store, whatcha need?", it would throw me off.

I've said that exact sentance before. I don;t think I have a particularly southern accents, even though I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas. But my family moved here when I was for, so I was exposed to midwestern first.

For the most part, I think regional accents are dying in the US. National media, mass transit, and the general mobility of people is mixing everything together. Though there are some colloquialisms that remain, like "fixin' to" (usually comes out as one word, "fixin'ta"), or "pop". I admit, I'm guilty of mockery bordering on cruelty toward some of my friends who used that term. I can't really blame them, though. They are yankees, after all. :D

brihana25
December 7th, 2004, 12:51 PM
I went to college in Mississippi, and my roomate was from Illinous. The funniest thing I remember was the first day at breakfest she was asked if she'd like some grits.

She says "Yes, can I try one?"

ROFL!

I can assure you though, that's a "roommate" thing and not an "Illinois" thing. I'm from Illinois, and I've known what grits are since I was about three years old.

priornavalperson
December 7th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Another one.


When you Brits say "torch", we say "flashlight"

In NYC, a water fountain is a water fountain. In Milwaukee its a "bubbler".

And in an office, its sometimes referred to as the water cooler.

And of course. automotively speaking:

A "bonnet" is a "hood"

and the luggage compartment is the trunk.

In the USN:

Water fountain = "scuttle butt"
floor = "deck"
ceiling = "overhead"
wall = "bulkhead"
upstairs = "top sides"
downstairs = "below"
stern - "fan tail"
Ship's store = "geedunk" which also refers to candy.
stairs = "ladder"
When one is summoned to the bridge, one is commanded to "lay up to the bridge"

dipsofjazz
December 7th, 2004, 02:36 PM
And of course. automotively speaking:

A "bonnet" is a "hood"
and the luggage compartment is the trunk.
We don't call it a luggage compartment, we call it the boot. :D

BruTak
December 22nd, 2004, 02:46 AM
Who was it once said the the UK and the US were two countries separated by a common language?

I recently read a fic by a charming young lady of my aquaintance (hi SueKay!) that had Sgt. Siler telling Sam he'd find a scrappie for her dead motorcycle.
For the benefit of you English folks, Americans, and other strange foreign types, a "scrappie" is a Scottish expression meaning a scap metal dealer (junkyard) - it is most assuredly not an annoying small brown dog that walks on its hind legs and has an Uncle Scooby...

Anyone needing assistance with one or two quaint, well placed, Scottish-isms and so forth for Dr. Beckett in any Stargate: Atlantis fics, I'd be more than pleased to help.

Mr Prophet
January 4th, 2005, 09:40 AM
In the US military, what would a junior officer who acted as aide to a senior officer be called? Would ADC be appropriate?Also, in America, do you have the phrasal verb 'to get off with'? I feel strongly that this is the phrase I want to use, but it may be that a part of 'to make out with' would be more appropriate to an American speaker.

tera'ngan
January 4th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Well, an American might say very indignently, "Where do you get off doing something like that?!" (i.e. 'you've got some nerve')

Or, a bit crudely, might say, "I'd like to get it on with her!" (indicating physical but not necessarily emotional interest)

An American teenager might want to "make out in the back seat."

I guess it would depend on what your intent in using that line is and what sort of context is involved.

-tera'ngan
(hope that helps) :)

meimei
January 4th, 2005, 04:20 PM
In the US military, what would a junior officer who acted as aide to a senior officer be called? Would ADC be appropriate?Also, in America, do you have the phrasal verb 'to get off with'? I feel strongly that this is the phrase I want to use, but it may be that a part of 'to make out with' would be more appropriate to an American speaker.
By ADC, do you mean Aide de Camp? If so, that would appropriate. Or just aide.

"to get off with", in a racier context, could mean that things, uh, have gotten way past "making out".... It would totally depend on the idea that you are trying to convey.

Major Tyler
January 4th, 2005, 04:20 PM
In crude American slang, "to get off with" translates into "to be sexually gratified by" someone/something.

This example might be slightly crude so I'll use spoiler tags (but it's not a spoiler) For example, a teenage boy might say, "Britney Spears really gets me off."

Major Fischer
January 4th, 2005, 04:52 PM
By ADC, do you mean Aide de Camp? If so, that would appropriate. Or just aide.


Seconding Meimei here. Never seen it abrev. to ADC, but Aide de Camp is the formal and for most uses just aide. As a side note, generals/admirals aides are often rated somewhere around invertibre on the social order of things at least in the US military.

The most famous example of this I can think of is one of the more outragious incidents from the tailhook scandal began with the words "Admiral's aide!" Though in the case of that unfortunate lieutenant, she was also a woman, and a helicopter pilot, which was three strikes against her in ... those circles.

Sela
January 4th, 2005, 05:06 PM
As I understand it, in the Harry Potter fanfic community there are a large number of English fans who provide 'Anglicisation' hints for US writers. I was wondering if there would be some mileage in a thread in which UK (and other) writers could solicit advice on US slang from the forum's American members?

What do people think?
I think this is a great idea. Anything I can do to help, let me know.

I watch a lot of British made TV (BBC America, PBS, DVD's, etc) and I had the benefit of an English co-worker who would translate for me. When it came to some of the bawdier comedies, I always had to begin with, "I think this might be a rude word so apologises in advance..." She would get a kick out of it and even supplied me with a few alternate terms. We used to sit in each other's offices and howl with laughter. She also refered me to the BBC website which had a translation feature which was quite helpful.

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 08:07 PM
I briefly joined a list of primarily British fic writers, and I made what I thought was a generous offer to beta for Britishisms. The ire was instantaneous! Apparently in some circles it's regarded as rude U.S. linguistic imperialism to ask fic writers to edit for their Britishisms. I did try to point out that the Stargate was set in Colorado and the characters were U.S. citizens. The interesting reply was that Daniel was brought up in an international context and received part of his education at Oxford. Someone then swore they heard Daniel say "whilst" once, and that proved he had British habits of speech. And there was also an argument, and this is a very near paraphrase, that fic writers should not confine characters to what they say on the show - they have to be extended, "and that includes language".

The whole discussion astounded me. It was not just that these writers disagreed on the use of Britishisms - they were actively offended I had made the offer! So I now make it a point to never, ever bring this up with a fic author unless that kind of advice is specifically solicited.

But just in case their is a non-U.S. fic author out there who would like to write in a U.S. voice, I'll throw in a few of things I'd beta for if asked:

* The U.S. regards groups such as corporations or rock bands as singular. "The band is Devo", not "The band are Devo." Similarly, "The company is MGM."

* There are no Errant (or Arrant) Flirts in the U.S. We would say "Shameless Flirt"...
Watch out for idioms in general. I've only seen the saying "dog in a manger" in British fic, though some friends in the U.S. say they've heard it before. It may be safest just to assume that U.S. speech has a poor sense of literary heritage. Many of our idioms come from popular sitcoms.

* Did someone already mention that the U.S. uses "flashlight" instead of "torch"?

* Careful with the one-word banter. There is a cadence to U.S. speech. I have trouble imagining some saying "Are." I can hear "They are, too!" On the other hand, I can hear an "Is!" vs. "Is not!" or "Is too!" argument.

* No one uses "parlous" in the U.S. On the other hand, some U.S. slang is regionally specific. I've only heard "hella" in California, and I associate the word with teen talk.

* Remember that U.S. stores are different. People in Colorado don't go to Tescos and Boots. The products on the shelves are different. We have cookies instead of biscuits. But more importantly many people in the U.S. love to have biscuits for breakfast (useful comfort food for breakfast scenes), and I'm not sure how to translate them into a Britishism. They are sort of like scones, but not sweet.

Here's one that I'm unsure of: do U.S. men use the term "trousers"? I've heard pants, jeans, khakis, dockers, and even "slacks" for suits.

Later,
Graculus

Dani347
January 4th, 2005, 09:05 PM
I briefly joined a list of primarily British fic writers, and I made what I thought was a generous offer to beta for Britishisms. The ire was instantaneous! Apparently in some circles it's regarded as rude U.S. linguistic imperialism to ask fic writers to edit for their Britishisms. I did try to point out that the Stargate was set in Colorado and the characters were U.S. citizens. The interesting reply was that Daniel was brought up in an international context and received part of his education at Oxford. Someone then swore they heard Daniel say "whilst" once, and that proved he had British habits of speech. And there was also an argument, and this is a very near paraphrase, that fic writers should not confine characters to what they say on the show - they have to be extended, "and that includes language".

The whole discussion astounded me. It was not just that these writers disagreed on the use of Britishisms - they were actively offended I had made the offer! So I now make it a point to never, ever bring this up with a fic author unless that kind of advice is specifically solicited.




It astonishes me too. People from other countries talk differently. It's not saying American English is better, but it is what American's speak. And, lets say that Daniel has picked up other speech patterns. I think he would adapt them for his audience. And, if he didn't, I would expect someone to comment on it. I read a lot of British and Canadian literature, and I found myself unconsciously adding in "u's" to my spellings. I think a wrote a paper that may have had the word favourite in there. No big deal, it wasn't riddled with British spellings, but my teacher sure noticed.

But, lets flip things around. Would a British person, talking to British people say something like "Hand me a flashlight, the elevator is broken and I don't want to trip going down the stairs."? Okay, not the greatest sentence, but you get my point. Wouldn't that kind of pull a British reader out of the story? I know I would be, and I'm American.

And, I love the very fact of the differences between the English languages. I like knowing that when I read a book set in England, there's a chance that I'll read about a boy wearing a jumper (sweater), fancying a girl, and having a mum who gives him biscuits as a snack.

And, I've never heard Daniel say whilst.

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 10:00 PM
Personally, I think the person must have mis-heard the "whilst", but she swore up and down it was there. I can't remember the episode in question, but I might still have that discussion saved in my email: I'll check.

I personally love reading stories set in England, and I always hope that the characters will be speaking England-English as part of the story's flavor. In that case, I'd be thrown out of the story if the characters started speaking U.S.-English. If the character is English, I'm a big fan of "parlous", "arrant", and most especially "whilst". I honestly don't get what the pay off is for insisting a bunch of characters living in Colorado somehow acquired Britishness. :-/

Later,
Graculus

Major Tyler
January 4th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Because of the Harry Potter books, I've been known to call someone an "insufferable little git" before, although I have no idea what it means.

Hatcheter
January 5th, 2005, 03:13 AM
Here's one that I'm unsure of: do U.S. men use the term "trousers"? I've heard pants, jeans, khakis, dockers, and even "slacks" for suits.

My Grandparents, who live in Iowa, sat 'trousers'. Then again, they say 'pop', too. I'm a Texan, I just call all soft drinks 'Coke'. :)

samjack4ever
January 5th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Because of the Harry Potter books, I've been known to call someone an "insufferable little git" before, although I have no idea what it means.It means pain in the ass ;)

Skydiver
January 5th, 2005, 07:51 AM
The interesting reply was that Daniel was brought up in an international context and received part of his education at Oxford. Someone then swore they heard Daniel say "whilst" once, and that proved he had British habits of speech. And there was also an argument, and this is a very near paraphrase, that fic writers should not confine characters to what they say on the show - they have to be extended, "and that includes language".


my response is ********!!

lol

Whatever and however they want to interpret the character is thier business.
I once had a beta of mine tell me that not only did daniel never use contractions because he's an educated man, he would also never curse.
Yet, if you listen to the show, he does both.

guess you hear whatever you want to hear.




Here's one that I'm unsure of: do U.S. men use the term "trousers"? I've heard pants, jeans, khakis, dockers, and even "slacks" for suits.

Later,
Graculus


not really. Suit pants are called that, Pants, slacks. trousers isn't used much

Jeans are denim pants (and by pants i mean outer wear for the lower half, not underwear)
khakis are pants made of a light tan colored material (although they can be other colors) the fabric is a heavier cotton weave, almost a canvas but not quite
Dockers is a specific brand of pants
slacks can also just be dress pants, not jeans or sweat pants. They're nicer and tailored

Skydiver
January 5th, 2005, 07:55 AM
biscuits are a type of bread/roll made with shortening, flour, salt and baking powder

they're usually not sweet

they can be served with dinner, in place of our normal yeast rolls/bread. they can also be for breakfast, served with gravy (the gravy is white, made with milk and flour and sometimes a meat, such as sausage

the fast food restaurants have biscuits with various fillings and serve them as a sandwich

popular choices are
bacon/egg and cheese
sausage, egg and cheese
sausage
ham, egg and cheese

Mr Prophet
January 5th, 2005, 08:30 AM
my response is ********!!
I'd second that, although frankly I've never heard anyone use the word 'parlous', even in jest, and arrant knavery should probably be saved for affable old academics in a state of great distress. I don't know why someone would object to having a little help making American characters sound American.

If there's any defence I can offer for my countrymen and women, it's that there are almost certainly American ficcers who say the same about characters in Harry Potter.

Now, if someone told me to miss the u out of colour because Daniel wouldn't spell it like that, I'd get stroppy, but if someone pointed out that Jack would never tell someone to 'go jump in a lake', I'd take that on board and be grateful. People are weird.

Unrelated point: Would an American ever use 'balls' as a mild - or even ersatz -swear word?

graculus
January 5th, 2005, 09:07 AM
I've never read Harry Potter, but I would be disappointed if it wasn't written in British-English, and I'd enjoy the work of U.S. fic writers more if they got into the spirit.

I went back to look at the original discussion. I left out what seemed to me to be the most legit argument: being persnickity about grammar might discourage fic writing (which is a pretty fragile practice in the first place). An additional interesting point is that it was either assumed the primary readers were British or the primary readers should be British, and they wouldn't be thrown by Britishisms. Sometimes it's those little things that make you realize the true issues of world politics...

I've heard "balls!" before, but rarely. I also know people who use British terms as a cool eccentricity. I know for a fact some non-U.S. fic writers have been thrown by this, because if they hear someone in the U.S. use a word, then it becomes fair game for their depiction of U.S. speech. The fact is it's not common, but it is a good character affectation if you want to write a character who is either an Anglophile or trying to beat the high school hierarchy through funky word power.

Later,
Graculus

Mr Prophet
January 5th, 2005, 09:16 AM
I've heard "balls!" before, but rarely. I also know people who use British terms as a cool eccentricity. I know for a fact some non-U.S. fic writers have been thrown by this, because if they hear someone in the U.S. use a word, then it becomes fair game for their depiction of U.S. speech. The fact is it's not common, but it is a good character affectation if you want to write a character who is either an Anglophile or trying to beat the high school hierarchy through funky word power.
It's actually used by a team who are supposed to have found that the 2IC - a very Catholic captain - won't accept their use of any other swear words, but the point stands; that they use a word that most Americans don't.

Skydiver
January 5th, 2005, 09:29 AM
Unrelated point: Would an American ever use 'balls' as a mild - or even ersatz -swear word?

'balls' is usually used to describe, well balls

now it may be billiard balls, tennis balls, basket balls, part of the male anatomy...but it's used to describe objects

another use is 'joe doesn't have the balls to confront ted'
meaning that a person lacks the force of personality/belief/opinion to speak up and confront someone or to do a job

Major Fischer
January 5th, 2005, 10:50 AM
Most of the beta reading I've done lately has been for military slang and technical terms, and occasionally references to military bases. Things like, no one flies out of Cheyenne Mountain. It's mountain. They're flying from Peterson Air Force Base. ;)

Major Clanger
January 5th, 2005, 12:43 PM
It's actually used by a team who are supposed to have found that the 2IC - a very Catholic captain - won't accept their use of any other swear words, but the point stands; that they use a word that most Americans don't.
I'm quite sure that your beta reader doesn't pick all the Britishness out of your fics, but then I am also 100% positive that she would never ever suggest the word colour without that vital U.

And since she should be betaing she will now vanish in a puff of logic. Or something.

graculus
January 5th, 2005, 12:57 PM
the fast food restaurants have biscuits with various fillings and serve them as a sandwich

popular choices are
bacon/egg and cheese
sausage, egg and cheese
sausage
ham, egg and cheese

You have only begun to describe the wonder comfort food that is the biscuit. I prefer my biscuit just with butter or with brown sugar. Some people probably like jam with biscuits. You can make biscuits in fun shapes like (American) cookies. My Dad used to make mini-biscuits. Also, kids fight for the irregularly shaped tiny biscuit made from the last piece of dough...

Later,
Graculus

Shipperahoy
January 5th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Where it can get funny is when there is a word in English that may be a little naughty but that is pretty inauspicious in American. Such as the English have a slang word to describe a females.....er.....nether regions that is simply a very mild term for bum here. Not that I've ever heard any Americans use the word bum, it's usually butt, but I've started using some English terms in everyday speak just from talking online. Like snog. I love that word.

graculus
January 5th, 2005, 01:24 PM
I've been trying to remember a light-hearted English swear-phrase I heard once. It ended with "... light a match".

Later,
Graculus

Skydiver
January 5th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Where it can get funny is when there is a word in English that may be a little naughty but that is pretty inauspicious in American. Such as the English have a slang word to describe a females.....er.....nether regions that is simply a very mild term for bum here. Not that I've ever heard any Americans use the word bum, it's usually butt, but I've started using some English terms in everyday speak just from talking online. Like snog. I love that word.


we use bum over here....but it's usually a scroungy homeless dude that lives on the street, with the stereotype of being a drunk as well

as to fanny....yep. fanny is a very innocous word over here. Hester, get your fanny over here'
yet to the brits....yeah, not so innocous ;)


I love snog, shag and ******. they're great brit words to toss around that few know :)

graculus
January 5th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Out of curiousity, do university students fall out of their chairs in hysterics when the professor assigns "Fanny Price"?

Later,
Graculus

Shipperahoy
January 5th, 2005, 04:46 PM
I love snog, shag and ******. they're great brit words to toss around that few know :)

That reminds me, are shag and ****** really that bad of words over there? Is shag the equivalent of the F-word over here or is it less mild? What about bugger? Cuz I love using bugger as a curse word. :D

Sela
January 5th, 2005, 05:21 PM
That reminds me, are shag and ****** really that bad of words over there? Is shag the equivalent of the F-word over here or is it less mild? What about bugger? Cuz I love using bugger as a curse word. :D

I loved the word, "******", even before I knew what it actually meant which I learned thanks to my English co-worker. It always sounded like you were calling the person something that was a cross between a nerd, a butt-head and an a-hole. (Can I say a-hole in a PG forum? - appologies, if I can't). It seemed someone had to really be a pain to call them a "******". It's a great sounding word. :)

The way my co-worker illustrated it to me was by saying, "So and So (a person in our office) is a ******." I knew immediately what she meant. :D

Skydiver
January 5th, 2005, 05:47 PM
on context, shag is like the f word, or screw....a moderately vulger term for sex
(which puts 'austin powers: the spy who shagged me' into whole new context)

snog is kissing

as to fanny, well Fanny is even a woman's name over here, short for Frances or Francine....which is a feminization of Frank i believe

graculus
January 5th, 2005, 05:52 PM
Snog is just kissing? I have to say that's been wildly misunderstood in the U.S., lol.

Later,
Graculus

Shipperahoy
January 5th, 2005, 06:04 PM
I love the word snog. I use it constantly. Of course when I do I have to explain what it means. ;)

Sela
January 5th, 2005, 08:09 PM
I love the word snog. I use it constantly. Of course when I do I have to explain what it means. ;)
I always thought it (snog) meant "heavy necking." Is it just regular kissing, or deep passionate kissing?

Mr Prophet
January 6th, 2005, 07:47 AM
I always thought it (snog) meant "heavy necking." Is it just regular kissing, or deep passionate kissing?
Snog would probably be more enthusiastic than passionate. I'd say it's intense to the point it's a little awkward to watch friends snog in a public place, but you can do it in a public place without getting arrested.

Shag is mild upon mild, to the point that even a shag carpet rarely raises a titter from the most juvenile of school headteachers. Bugger is a little bit stronger than shag - perhaps on a par with ****** - but not beyond the pale unless you happen to work in a church, convent or school. Oh, in the latter case, nothing is beyond the pale in the staff room, of course; just in the class or the corridors.

Major Clanger
January 6th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Snog would probably be more enthusiastic than passionate. I'd say it's intense to the point it's a little awkward to watch friends snog in a public place, but you can do it in a public place without getting arrested.

Shag is mild upon mild, to the point that even a shag carpet rarely raises a titter from the most juvenile of school headteachers. Bugger is a little bit stronger than shag - perhaps on a par with ****** - but not beyond the pale unless you happen to work in a church, convent or school. Oh, in the latter case, nothing is beyond the pale in the staff room, of course; just in the class or the corridors.
heh heh heh
he said "titter"

Mr Prophet
January 6th, 2005, 09:31 AM
heh heh heh
he said "titter"
Have you ever considered a career in education?

Major Clanger
January 6th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Have you ever considered a career in education?
should I?

;)

Mr Prophet
January 6th, 2005, 11:06 AM
should I?

;)
You have the right sense of humour for the staff room. :p

Major Clanger
January 6th, 2005, 11:26 AM
You have the right sense of humour for the staff room. :p
and I can't stand kids, which I hear is a bonus...
and not forgetting that I have this penchant for young, male teachers!!

Ooops. The cat's out of the bag now.

*looks up at thread title*

Do Americans say that?

Shipperahoy
January 6th, 2005, 11:42 AM
We sure do.

By the by, I realize that this is about Americanisms but what the heck does "bobs your uncle" mean?

Mr Prophet
January 6th, 2005, 11:53 AM
We sure do.

By the by, I realize that this is about Americanisms but what the heck does "bobs your uncle" mean?
There you have it; it is done; you're home and dry; all your problems are over.

As in: "All we have to do is hotwire the puddle jumper, fire up the drone launchers and bob's your uncle."

Shipperahoy
January 6th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Thanks. That one had me at a loss. I couldn't figure out what it could possibly pertain to. And apparently is has nothing to do with uncles. Good to know. ;)

Ewokmonster
January 6th, 2005, 01:27 PM
I caught just a few minutes of a fascinating show on PBS last night. It was called Do You Speak American?

Great look on how different ethnicities and regions speak English. And if you think local dialects are phasing out, watch this show. They showed one group who I'd be hard pressed to understand, and they were using English words. :)

http://www.pbs.org/speak/

Check your local listings on this site.

graculus
January 6th, 2005, 02:47 PM
My thought is regionalisms eternally recreate themselves. Global media homogenizes culture, but there is a waffle iron effect that squeezes out new little pockets. There has been a lot of discussion in the U.S. about the revival of extremist politics because people are more able than ever before to filter out what they don't want to hear. Closed groups spawn their own cultures - then they use the differences to patrol boundaries between Them and Us.

Later,
Graculus

Sela
January 6th, 2005, 04:54 PM
I love the English use of the word 'brilliant' but can't use it because it just doesn't sound the same with an American accent.

graculus
January 6th, 2005, 07:05 PM
I like "posh". :)

Later,
Graculus

Mr Prophet
January 8th, 2005, 09:35 AM
Do Americans use 'glitch'?

meimei
January 8th, 2005, 09:45 AM
Do Americans use 'glitch'?
Yep.

Madeleine
January 8th, 2005, 09:54 AM
There was a Prime Minister in the c19th whose name was Robert (was it Robert Peel?) and he was a bit... over-generous towards his family when it came to handing out lucrative high-status jobs. Hence "Bob's your uncle" as a way to say "all good; all taken care of".

BruTak
January 11th, 2005, 02:45 AM
You may be interested to know, that the phrase "to let the cat out of the bag" and its many variations, has its origins in the 18th-19th century Royal Navy.

Flogging was a common punishment for even minor offences, and the whip used was called the Cat O' Nine Tails, and was routinely kept in a sturdy bag or pouch between uses.
Hence "Letting the cat out of the bag".

The day isn't totally wasted if you've learned something...

samjack4ever
January 11th, 2005, 03:17 AM
There you have it; it is done; you're home and dry; all your problems are over.

As in: "All we have to do is hotwire the puddle jumper, fire up the drone launchers and bob's your uncle."

There is a full length version of Bob's your uncle...

"All we have to do is hotwire the puddle jumper, fire up the drone launchers and bob's your uncle and fanny's your aunt."

I have no idea where it comes from though...

samjack4ever
January 11th, 2005, 03:19 AM
Do American's call the 'Hand break' the 'Emergancy break'?

I find this a bit odd as if the hand break is on there to be used in an emergancy situation only and should not be touch at any other time... :)

Major Tyler
January 11th, 2005, 05:22 AM
Do American's call the 'Hand break' the 'Emergancy break'?

I find this a bit odd as if the hand break is on there to be used in an emergancy situation only and should not be touch at any other time... :)It's defininately the "emergency break." I've never even heard the term "hand break" before. :) When it's not being used in an emergency, it's called a "parking break."

samjack4ever
January 11th, 2005, 05:31 AM
It's defininately the "emergency break." I've never even heard the term "hand break" before. :) When it's not being used in an emergency, it's called a "parking break."

ok... thanks. I guess we call it a 'hand break' because you use it with your hand and I doubt it would be the first thing I 'd go for in an emergancy. :)

Wouldn't pulling the hand/emergancy break cause the car to skid?

Skydiver
January 11th, 2005, 07:33 AM
an emergency break is what you set if you're parked on an incline or some such thing. i rarely use mine

now i do have a car with an automatic transmission, so i really don't have the need

it may be different for folks with a standard transmission

meimei
January 11th, 2005, 09:07 AM
I drive a stick {no not a broomstick, contrary to popular belief ;)}, a five speed and I don't leave my car without setting the parking brake. Of course, since I leave the car in neutral when parked, it would roll away without the parking brake...

Mr Prophet
January 11th, 2005, 09:23 AM
I drive a stick

In UK English, a manual, or alternatively, a 'car', since automatics came in slow enough that they are still considered the exception, linguistically at least.


{no not a broomstick, contrary to popular belief ;)}, a five speed

...five gear...


and I don't leave my car without setting the parking brake.

As said above, a hand brake. So; what do you call a handbrake turn? Aside from 'inadvisable'.

Major Tyler
January 11th, 2005, 12:35 PM
A handbrake turn!! :eek: I can only imagine...

Mr Prophet
January 11th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Basically - as I understand it - you slam the steering wheel to full lock and put the handbrake on to lock the front wheels. If you're in a TV series, you skid right round and wind up stationary, facing in the other direction.

If you're not in a TV series, you end up in hospital.

aschen
January 11th, 2005, 12:48 PM
The problem with American, is that there isn't just one kind of english spoken here.

You have your proper english. Then your proper-American english (what I speak in.) Then you have have your ebonix, "hood [degenerate] slang," and the South West/Texas slang and dialects.

There is, by the way, a dictionary for words that are only spoken in Texas. That's how serious it is :)

If you need any help, I have a pretty decent handle on American english. So if you please, do hit me up. :D

sgcgirl52
January 15th, 2005, 03:38 PM
I love this thread. I know exactly what y'all mean. I have been known to stop reading a fic that is soo blatantly written by a non-American b/c it pulls me out of the story and I just can't get back into it.
Now I disagree though that regionalism is being lost. This is coming form a girl born in Philly and raised in Bensalem (5 min. outside of the wonderful city) and then was moved to Hicksville MD....I mean the middle of nowhere MD and left to fend for myself. They made me take speech classes because I pronounced things wrong. Mostly things with O's in them. But anyway, above the Mason-Dixon its yous, pronounced use meaning a group of people or plural you. South of said state line, it’s you or y'all. I have been known to use both in the same sentence. Not only was it repetitive, it was scary. Also, I call them hoagies and my friends call them subs. I say curse they say cuss (and it annoys the crud put of me).
Also, I work at a camp in the Pocono Mts. in PA for under-privileged kids in the Philly area. Now there are staff there from all around the world and country. Last summer we had a lot of Michigan-ers and Minnosodians (SP?). I can assure you Jack would call coke pop.
And on a side note the first time I heard what Bullock's meant to the British I about died. The reason...there is a group of family restaurants in my town with the name of Bullock's. Such as Bullock's Airport Inn, Bullock's Meet House, Bullock's Family Restaurants, Inc. So you can imagine the reaction from my British-Zimbabwean Dance teacher when she went to Bullock's. It was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing.
Another side note. In my part of the country a jumper is like overalls I guess but for kids, mostly shorts though, not pants. So the first time I saw it in the British context I didn't understand what was going on. It was in the 2nd HP book. I was sure that J.K. Rowling didn't just have one of her character's enter a room with no pants on looking for her pants....but then my mom explained it to me and all was good in the world from my end that it. Heheheeehe I guess you have to be in my head for that one.

Oh and on the trouser line. I only use trousers when it’s a really really nice pare of slacks. And even then I wouldn't use talking to someone. "Those are some nice trousers there." It would be more like when I described what someone was wearing and "he had a nice pair of trousers on and.

And a question: Do you mean a Volkswagen Bug when you say puddle jumper b/c I sometimes call them puddle jumpers b/c that’s what my Bubbie (grandma—Yiddish---I’m Jewish...anyway) called them, but is that what you meant or is it something different?

Whistler
January 15th, 2005, 04:13 PM
Now I can see how some terminology and phrases might be usefull, but I wouldn't want everyone on SG-1 to start using American Slang or if their whole sentances were crammed full of things only Americans would understand.

If one or two characters used the slang on an on/off basis, I can live with that, and usually understand it, but not everyone, all the time, argh. :eek:

Oh and here, we call VW "Bugs", Beetles. :)

meimei
January 15th, 2005, 04:53 PM
When I talk about a puddle jumper (other than on SGA), I am referring to a small plane... Such as the Baron that we have as a company plane... Seats six, without luggage! LOL! That's kind of a southernism, I think...

sgcgirl52
January 16th, 2005, 03:44 PM
See we call them bugs too its just that in my family/friend circle we call tehm anywhere from bugs and bettels, to puddle jumper and punch buggies. But them again we're a weride group....so ya.......gonna stop talking now....

VirtualCLD
January 16th, 2005, 04:21 PM
Hmmm, I know I like to switch between Emergency Brake and E-Brake. Sometimes I call it hand brake when it's a hand operated brake, but a lot of automatics have a pedal operated Emergency Brake. You need your hand to release it though, so I guess you could call it a hand brake still. I guess I would call a turn with the e brake just that, or an "E-brake turn."

I have a friend who is from Singapore and the schooling there, (I believe) is British style, as is the English language down there. There were a few terms/slangs that rubbed off on me, such as calling the "trash can" a "rubbish bin," or more commonly, "alluminum" as "alluminium." All metal elements end with "ium" (Iron = ferium sp?) I don't know if the latter is a British thing or not, but just a thought. Also, not that this would come up in a Fan Fic, but I rememer something about them calling a private school with a dorm that seperate, a different name than a private school with a dorm that attached to the school. Unfortunately, I can't remember

EllieVee
January 16th, 2005, 11:57 PM
(snip)
not that this would come up in a Fan Fic, but I rememer something about them calling a private school with a dorm that seperate, a different name than a private school with a dorm that attached to the school. Unfortunately, I can't remember

Don't know what the dorm term is but in the UK private schools are called public schools.

Jafana
January 17th, 2005, 02:36 AM
Hmmm, I know I like to switch between Emergency Brake and E-Brake. Sometimes I call it hand brake when it's a hand operated brake, but a lot of automatics have a pedal operated Emergency Brake. You need your hand to release it though, so I guess you could call it a hand brake still. I guess I would call a turn with the e brake just that, or an "E-brake turn."

I have a friend who is from Singapore and the schooling there, (I believe) is British style, as is the English language down there. There were a few terms/slangs that rubbed off on me, such as calling the "trash can" a "rubbish bin," or more commonly, "alluminum" as "alluminium." All metal elements end with "ium" (Iron = ferium sp?) I don't know if the latter is a British thing or not, but just a thought. Also, not that this would come up in a Fan Fic, but I rememer something about them calling a private school with a dorm that seperate, a different name than a private school with a dorm that attached to the school. Unfortunately, I can't remember

Possibly you're thinking of Boarding School.
and yes, the Alluminium thing is a little weird.
In my more cynical moments I laugh at my sister in law's (she's american) choice of words.

Australian's are weird in that they've taken a lot of slang from all over the world.
It's mainly british, but a lot comes from the american speech as well, due to the very very large amounts of american tv that we get broadcast here.

I believe i do get caught out when I'm writing my own fics. I remember a particular occurance of writing "torch" instead of "flashlight". It doesn't help that my beta is australian as well.

For the most part, it's easy enough for me to figure out what it is someone is trying to say.
However I did have a huge problem trying to figure out what grits and (american) biscuits were.

as far as i can tell however, biscuits are very similar to what we call dumplings.
are they ever served in stews and things?

btw: someone briefly brought up the issue of whether the word is beta (pronounced: bater much like the greek letter) or betta (pronounced: better)

I always took it to mean the former, since the greek letter beta is the second, and when someone is betaing your fic, they're pretty much your 2IC. or something like that.

ibwolf
January 17th, 2005, 03:20 AM
btw: someone briefly brought up the issue of whether the word is beta (pronounced: bater much like the greek letter) or betta (pronounced: better)

I always took it to mean the former, since the greek letter beta is the second, and when someone is betaing your fic, they're pretty much your 2IC. or something like that.

Yeah, beta refers to the greek letter.

Basically it is the second round of testing or proofing something. The first round (or alpha) being in house, or in this case, you yourself giving the text a good once-over

Mr Prophet
January 17th, 2005, 08:54 AM
and yes, the Alluminium thing is a little weird.

The original was alumium, but after about a year the guy who discovered it changed his mind and started calling it aluminum. The British scientific establishment then decided that - on the ium principle - it should really be aluminium.

Thank you, Bill Bryson's Brief History of Absolutely Everything.


I believe i do get caught out when I'm writing my own fics. I remember a particular occurance of writing "torch" instead of "flashlight".

So, in America, if you're suffering long-term unrequited love for someone, are you carrying a flashlight?

meimei
January 17th, 2005, 09:50 AM
Possibly you're thinking of Boarding School.
and yes, the Alluminium thing is a little weird.
In my more cynical moments I laugh at my sister in law's (she's american) choice of words.

Australian's are weird in that they've taken a lot of slang from all over the world.
It's mainly british, but a lot comes from the american speech as well, due to the very very large amounts of american tv that we get broadcast here.

I believe i do get caught out when I'm writing my own fics. I remember a particular occurance of writing "torch" instead of "flashlight". It doesn't help that my beta is australian as well.

For the most part, it's easy enough for me to figure out what it is someone is trying to say.
However I did have a huge problem trying to figure out what grits and (american) biscuits were.

as far as i can tell however, biscuits are very similar to what we call dumplings.
are they ever served in stews and things?

btw: someone briefly brought up the issue of whether the word is beta (pronounced: bater much like the greek letter) or betta (pronounced: better)

I always took it to mean the former, since the greek letter beta is the second, and when someone is betaing your fic, they're pretty much your 2IC. or something like that.

American biscuits are made from flour, shortening, water and are bread like. They are not normally served in a stew although my momma's Chicken and Dumplings calls for a dumplings similar to a biscuit. If that's what you call dumplings, then yes. Biscuits are common everywhere in the US.

Here's an example of McDonald's sausage biscuit.
http://www.jacksonlocal.com/mcdonalds/images/susagebiscute.jpg

Grits are a hominy corn cereal that is usually found in the Southern US and mostly considered a breakfast food. I think some people compare it to farina, although farina is usually from wheat or rice.
http://www.quakergrits.com/QG_Products/oldfashioned-aj.htm
A small pic and a description of it.

For SG1 related fics, I would think that the only character that might have run across grits would be Hammond, as he's from Texas. Unless Janet was from the south, which I have always wondered about.

Beta, yes, I always presumed it to be the Greek letter, but I pronounce it just bay-tah...

VirtualCLD
January 17th, 2005, 03:03 PM
So, in America, if you're suffering long-term unrequited love for someone, are you carrying a flashlight?

In America, when someone thinks of torch, they generally think of a piece of wood with flamable material bundled on top and set on fire (or at least I do). (For example, Indiana Jones movies). I tend to associate it with the term "old flame" such as an old (ex-) significant other. But yes,
if you're suffering long-term unrequited love for someone, are you carrying a torch (as in burning firing, like burning passion?), not a flashlight (electric potential passion just desn't have the same ring to it).

I have heard some people call a flashlight, "electric torch" but I'm not sure about that.

Also, I pronounce "beta" as bay-ta as well. I associate betas for fanfics with beta testers for software ( the first phase of testing is alpha, so nanturally beta comes next. Also, I assume the terminology dates back further than software testers).

Major Tyler
January 17th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Today I was reading a fanfic and the spelled the word "Center" like "centre," as in "Command Centre." It really threw me off. I'm not usually picky, but the "re" spelling is really counter-intuitive to most Americans, and it prevented me from taking the rest of the fic seriously.

Just remember...when in doubt, use "er." Also, when writing for an American character please, please don't use "colour, favourite, humour, armour, etc..." totally shakes me out of the story.

Mr Prophet
January 18th, 2005, 09:25 AM
Today I was reading a fanfic and the spelled the word "Center" like "centre," as in "Command Centre." It really threw me off. I'm not usually picky, but the "re" spelling is really counter-intuitive to most Americans, and it prevented me from taking the rest of the fic seriously.

Just remember...when in doubt, use "er." Also, when writing for an American character please, please don't use "colour, favourite, humour, armour, etc..." totally shakes me out of the story.

If I'm writing about something specific in the Mountain, it's the Command Center. If it's general, it's the command centre, because I'm writing in English. I spell 'our' words with the u because...I spell that way. The label on the door might say ARMORY (unless the sign writer was Canadian, I guess), but it will always be an armoury to me. Sorry.

meimei
January 18th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Today I was reading a fanfic and the spelled the word "Center" like "centre," as in "Command Centre." It really threw me off. I'm not usually picky, but the "re" spelling is really counter-intuitive to most Americans, and it prevented me from taking the rest of the fic seriously.

Just remember...when in doubt, use "er." Also, when writing for an American character please, please don't use "colour, favourite, humour, armour, etc..." totally shakes me out of the story.
Those words don't phase me. I guess that I have seen them both ways so it doesn't interrupt my flow of reading. It's the obvious things, like 'lounge' instead of 'living room', 'torch' instead of 'flashlight' and 'biscuits' instead of 'cookies', that throw me off in a fic... Oh, yeah, and 'jumper' instead of 'sweater'. The vision of Jack in a jumper really gives me the giggle and the rest of the fic is a waste!

Major Fischer
January 18th, 2005, 10:25 AM
Those words don't phase me. I guess that I have seen them both ways so it doesn't interrupt my flow of reading. It's the obvious things, like 'lounge' instead of 'living room', 'torch' instead of 'flashlight' and 'biscuits' instead of 'cookies', that throw me off in a fic... Oh, yeah, and 'jumper' instead of 'sweater'. The vision of Jack in a jumper really gives me the giggle and the rest of the fic is a waste!

I don't know, I bet he'd look smashing in a jumper ;)

meimei
January 18th, 2005, 10:28 AM
I don't know, I bet he'd look smashing in a jumper ;)
*giggle* *giggle* Well, I'd imagine RDA would look smashing in anything! But then I am a RDA Gutter Gal!!

VirtualCLD
January 21st, 2005, 07:55 PM
Today I was reading a fanfic and the spelled the word "Center" like "centre," as in "Command Centre." It really threw me off. I'm not usually picky, but the "re" spelling is really counter-intuitive to most Americans, and it prevented me from taking the rest of the fic seriously.

Just remember...when in doubt, use "er." Also, when writing for an American character please, please don't use "colour, favourite, humour, armour, etc..." totally shakes me out of the story.


I have to agree with meimei that those types of spellings don't tend to phase me. However, even as an American, I always write "theatre", I almost refuse to acknowledge "theater". All other "er" words I use, but not that one.

Major Tyler
January 21st, 2005, 09:20 PM
I have to agree with meimei that those types of spellings don't tend to phase me. However, even as an American, I always write "theatre", I almost refuse to acknowledge "theater". All other "er" words I use, but not that one.I see "theater" as a movie theater, and I see "theatre" as more of an opera or musical theatre.

Madeleine
January 21st, 2005, 09:53 PM
Don't know what the dorm term is but in the UK private schools are called public schools.

Not quite; private schools in the UK are sometimes called private schools, or more commonly 'independant schools'.

A Public School is one of the older independants, often established four or five hundred years ago. They were so called because they were open to the public (that is, the public who could pay or who got a scholarship) as opposed to the smaller private arrangements with tutors and a handful of boys that could be found in private homes.

Most independants are not public schools. But no one really uses the term 'Public School' any more.

A school which is government funded and government run is called a State School.

Mr Prophet
January 21st, 2005, 11:28 PM
Need another translation - would an American use the word 'frock' to describe a dress? If not, what would they say?

Major Tyler
January 21st, 2005, 11:47 PM
Need another translation - would an American use the word 'frock' to describe a dress? If not, what would they say?I've heard "frock" used in a *cough* less than gentlemanly way, in the U.S.

Americans would generally say "dress" or, if it were very formal, a "gown."

meimei
January 22nd, 2005, 05:23 AM
Frock is a very old fashioned word for dress or gown. You wouldn't hear it much today. I hadn't heard it in a derogatory way. Maybe a generational thing... LOL!

jckfan55
January 22nd, 2005, 09:19 AM
Need another translation - would an American use the word 'frock' to describe a dress? If not, what would they say?
Not unless they were being very pretentious. :)

Mr Prophet
January 22nd, 2005, 09:22 AM
Not unless they were being very pretentious. :)

Frock is pretentious over there!? I mean, I suppose a sack could have pretentions of frockhood, but in general, frock is a pretty casual way of speaking.

meimei
January 22nd, 2005, 09:32 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say pretentious... Some people do attempt to use Britishisms in an attempt to appear more educated or superior or even different... (Shocking, isn't it!) Most of the uses that I have seen for the word frock is in literature. In standard everyday American, the only place I have ever heard it would be from my 84 year old grandmother... Definately not pretentious... LOL!

Major Tyler
January 22nd, 2005, 09:40 AM
In the U.S. military, "frock" is slang for, to give someone a job that usually require a rank higher than their own (and they generally get paid at their lower rank).

For example, Lt. Colonel Bonney got frocked into a command position that usually only goes to full-bird Colonels...but he still gets paid as a(n) LT.C.

Sometimes I have used frock when I felt like I was given more work than I should have been.

I know this has nothing to do with a dress, but I thought it was interesting.

jckfan55
January 22nd, 2005, 09:44 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say pretentious... Some people do attempt to use Britishisms in an attempt to appear more educated or superior or even different...
Ok, I might have overstated, but what you say is kind of what I was getting at.
Frock in particular is probably just more old-fashioned over here.

in another usage you can be de-frocked clergy...

Gatetrixer
February 9th, 2005, 11:41 AM
In spite of TV, there are still some regional expressions that sound odd in other parts of the country.

If a fanfic had Jack saying "hey ya'll, I'm fixin' to go to the store, whatcha need?", it would throw me off. Or if a character is from Texas and starts talking about soda pop I can be pretty sure the fanfic writer isn't from Texas. We almost never call a soft drink "soda pop".

Of course stuff like that doesn't throw me off as much as Jack wearing a "jumper"! Yeah, Jack in a dress is a lovely image. :D I guess I like the characters to sound the way they do on the show. But if it's a great story I can overlook a lot. ;)

Some of our differences in America are in the accents, rather than the expressions. Hearing a Texan say "I'll go park the car" sounds a lot different than a Bostonian saying the same words. But reading it on the page I immediately hear Jack's voice in my head.


Now that is very interesting about the "soda pop" because my alma mater had a coach born and raised in Texas who coached only in Texas until he came to my school. He used to say when laughingly commenting about unruly fans from other schools that they had drunk too much "sodie pop."

As far as Anglicisms in fanfic--there are some writers who are very good in fooling me. I remember reading one story where I didn't guess the writer was from the U.K. until almost the end. Then the word "torch" was used for "flashlight." Usually, however I can guess pretty soon into the story. And it doesnt really bother me unless it somehow makes the story less believable. I'm a big fan of British mysteries. Now a question, is "en suite" used in the U.S? I've been seeing that in stories I've recently read and can't remember it being used in the U.S. (well, it would be French originally) But usages change and Anglicisms have become more common here even though the Brits thinks it's only the opposite.

sgcgirl52
February 9th, 2005, 10:23 PM
I use frock and I'm American.....but I don't use it for apperances sake. I just have always have used it and I'm not old at all. I use it when I'm refering to and ugly dress or something that is gaudy (SP?) or really big...it all depends on the situation.

Another note: I'm not to big on the 're' or 'ou' spelling things because I have enough problems spelling stuff so I don't get on other people. But I do have a problem with people (I'm not sure if they are British or what have you) using the word Blouse when they are refering to a man's shirt. A blouse is a womans shirt. Normally a bit dressy (the better side of dress casual). I have seen fics talking about Jack's blouse and I just get this image of Jack in a frilly, tappered in at the waist, button down, woman's dress shirt. Its really disturbing and is one of my biggest pet peves. Please spread the word and stop making men dress in drag in fics when its not called for (not that it can't be funny for guys to dress in drag...or wrong in any way....just when that's not what they're going for....you know what I mean). It pulls me out of the story so quick and I have to force my self to finish reading. Gaha....ya so there is my buck fifty worth of comment....def. going to stop talking now and get back to the ever increasing pile of work that I intend to leave for later.


~*~Temma~*~

}=D

Mr Prophet
February 10th, 2005, 07:39 AM
I don't think anyone British would refer to Jack wearing a blouse - except in fic of a certian kind, I guess - since that would indeed be a woman's shirt. I believe we might have some disagreement, however, on what constitutes a shirt.

Erin
February 10th, 2005, 08:42 AM
Up here in the "boondocks" we say...

"wicked", like we'll say, "That's wicked bad or wicked good." I want an SG character to start saying that. I also say, "ayah" when we're agreeing with whatever.

Mr Prophet
February 13th, 2005, 01:43 PM
It's not exactly dialect, but could anyone tell me what novel, if any, most Americans might be expected to have read?

Jonas Quinn
February 13th, 2005, 01:52 PM
It's not exactly dialect, but could anyone tell me what novel, if any, most Americans might be expected to have read?Well, if you're assuming Americans don't read...that's not true. There are enormous bookstore franchises in the United States that are extremely popular. If you're looking for popular American books (or books popular in America) a Google search should do the trick.

Off the top of my head I can think of the following: Any books by Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, John Grisham, or Stephen King; "The Lord of the Rings" was popular in the U.S. long before the movies; "Harry Potter" is also very popular; "Where the Red Fern Grows" is another old classic. If I think of anymore I'll let you know.

KatG
February 13th, 2005, 01:53 PM
It's not exactly dialect, but could anyone tell me what novel, if any, most Americans might be expected to have read?

Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird

Mr Prophet
February 13th, 2005, 01:56 PM
Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird

Oo! How about Catcher in the Rye.

Skydiver
February 13th, 2005, 02:27 PM
It's not exactly dialect, but could anyone tell me what novel, if any, most Americans might be expected to have read?

lit classes make you read a lot
i've read shakespeare, tolkein, the iliad, the odyssey, all sorts of 'the classics'

ton clancy books are very popular, lit classes have you read the 'classics'
moby dick
the jungle
the hobbit

if you want a book a lot of folks will read, just go to amazon and pick one

check out the biggest seller and, statistically, y ou're going to have a book that a lot of folks will have read

or you can look at a university, check out if they have an 'american lit' class and pick a book off that list

Major Fischer
February 13th, 2005, 03:11 PM
It's not exactly dialect, but could anyone tell me what novel, if any, most Americans might be expected to have read?

Certainly for most of the 1990s nine out of ten people on an airplane would have been reading Tom Clancy or John Grishim. Too Kill a Mocking Bird is standard in school. High schools tend to require lots of Hemmingway. And Scarlett Letter.

Mr Prophet
February 13th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Ethan Frome - that's the one I was trying to remember from Grosse Pointe Blank.

Major Fischer
February 13th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Ethan Frome - that's the one I was trying to remember from Grosse Pointe Blank.

Ethan Frome was required reading for me in high school American Lit. Or as I called it at the time. "Depression in American Litature."

Mr Prophet
February 13th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Ethan Frome was required reading for me in high school American Lit. Or as I called it at the time. "Depression in American Litature."

The line in GPB is something along the lines of: "Are you still inflicting all that horrible Ethan Frome damage?"

sgcgirl52
February 13th, 2005, 04:45 PM
In my Surevy and Composition of American Literature class that I took way back in 10th grade (horrible class known as 'survey' which is why I thought it was a math class and why I thought Analysis was an English class.....long story...anyway) we read every where from the Crucible (OMG great play) to The Awakening (horrible horrible novel by Kate Chopin. Apperantly it was supposed to be about feminism and all that get out but I say it as a case study for Bi-poloar or Manic Depression if you will. The funny thing is that my Physcology teacher agreed and yet I still got a C for a grade on my paper because my teacher didn't want to see anything but Femisism. It was also funny because my dad was diagnosied with Manic Depressive about a year before hand and my teacher said I knew nothng about it and should keep the analysis of tyhe book to the professionals.....which is also funny because that was what our paper was supposed to be, Our analysis of the book......sorry I'm still pissed by it). Also, there is My Anotonia which I was forced to read in middle school (and people wonder why I pefer science to English....but I do love reading). Also, a lot of people recently have been reading The Five People you Meet in Heaven, The DeVinci Code, Angels and Deamons (sorry for the spelling and all). Steven King is big. Ummmm so is Mary Higgins Calrk if our into mysteries and such. And back to Survey, The Scarlet Letter (which I was actually spared from reading...the only nice thing my teacher did). Also a lot of high schools require a Brit Lit calss (I loved that class because my teacher loved extra credit and we didn't write all that much). We read Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare, and other such stuff. If your looking for the younger reads there is a great and weird book called The Gosspil According to Larry and a fantasy called The Fairae Wars. Oh and a book I def. think Cassie would have read The Earth, My butt, and Other Big Round Things, my best friends daughter recommended it so I read it....its hilarious and pretty good for the young teen girl. For drama people, Wicked. Scifi buffs Dune and the subsequent sequels and such. The list really goes on.To Kill a Mocking Bird and One Flew over the Couko's Nest, there are so many. The only problem is that America is so large and has so many different typesn of people that I don't think you can find one standard book. It really depends on the persons intrest. (which I'm sure is the same every where).

So there again is my 2 cents plus a dollar fifty. I really should stop writing I mena I really should. Okay going to stop...............................................................now.

Major Fischer
February 13th, 2005, 04:58 PM
I read The Awakening. I rather liked it, but it was on the theme of depressing books where the characters were maimed, killed, or committed suicide. Just be glad you didn't have to read Falkner. I'm southern. I had to read As I Lay Dying, the main premise of which is a woman who hates her family so much that she requires in her will that they take her body from the boonies to the county seat to be barried. In July. In Mississippi. At the turn of the century. Because she knew it would be miserable.

sgcgirl52
February 13th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Okay so maybe it wasn't that bad but when you combine me dificult teacher and having to 'actively read' the book....I cna't think of anything nice to say about it. ....ya can't think of anything. And I do consider my self lucky. I mena I'm tech. from the south because I from Carroll County Maryland which during the Civil War, my samll little town was split down the middle and even now some people consider it a draw and called me a damn Yank when I moved there (I was 7...really confused me). But I never had to read that.

ya promise I'm shutting up now...or at least I'll try.

~*~Temma~*~

Mr Prophet
February 14th, 2005, 12:13 AM
I read The Awakening. I rather liked it, but it was on the theme of depressing books where the characters were maimed, killed, or committed suicide.

So the US counterparts to Thomas Hardy, then?

I think I'm going to go with either Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mocking Bird as the book Ferretti claims he was given as a child and still hasn't read. Thanks all.

KatG
February 14th, 2005, 07:51 AM
Oo! How about Catcher in the Rye.

Very probable. I took British Lit instead of American Lit, so I didn't read it, but most people would have.

Mr Prophet
February 16th, 2005, 11:28 AM
Another question. Is the Peter Principle widely known in America?

Major Fischer
February 16th, 2005, 11:29 AM
I think I'm going to go with either Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mocking Bird as the book Ferretti claims he was given as a child and still hasn't read. Thanks all.

Both those are perfect books for that purpose.

Mr Prophet
February 16th, 2005, 12:27 PM
Nothing on the Peter Principle? Is that because you've never heard of it or because you're like, 'duh'?

Major Fischer
February 16th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Nothing on the Peter Principle? Is that because you've never heard of it or because you're like, 'duh'?

I've never heard of it.

Mr Prophet
February 16th, 2005, 12:38 PM
I've never heard of it.

It states that each person will be promoted to their own level of incompetence; that is to say that so long as you're good at your job you get promoted, so you stop once you are in a job that you can't do. Is there a US equivalent?

Major Fischer
February 16th, 2005, 12:40 PM
It states that each person will be promoted to their own level of incompetence; that is to say that so long as you're good at your job you get promoted, so you stop once you are in a job that you can't do. Is there a US equivalent?

The phrase doesn't ring a bell. Often what I hear is "Up or Out." That if you don't deserve a promotion you aren't long for your service career.

Mr Prophet
February 16th, 2005, 12:42 PM
The phrase doesn't ring a bell. Often what I hear is "Up or Out." That if you don't deserve a promotion you aren't long for your service career.

Yeah, the PP is basically the down-side of that; the fact that no-one stays where they're really good because of the pressure of up or out. It's more of an office phrase than a military one.

Madeleine
February 16th, 2005, 08:36 PM
It's the sort of thing Dilbert (American cartoon office bod) would say.

Mr Prophet
February 17th, 2005, 12:10 AM
It's the sort of thing Dilbert (American cartoon office bod) would say.

The reason I wonder is that Scott Adams wrote a book called The Dilbert Principle, postulating an alternate theory that these days people come straight from business school into a position of incompetence (or some such), so it's obviously known. I just wasn't sure how widely.

Of course, it's not quite common coin in the UK, either. Best to have an explanation; I think I can maintain suspension of disbelief if Ferretti doesn't have a sound grasp of office jargon.

zats
February 17th, 2005, 02:57 PM
i notice AT's accent in her 'hello', especially in forsaken when she calls it out.

she does that long o bit that canadians do.

Hmmm. I live in KCK, have for years, and my O's come out a little like that.

sgcgirl52
February 17th, 2005, 07:34 PM
I've heard of the PP. I just couldn't place it until you described it....and we sure as heck have that over here in the states (that problem I mean). Its sad really. But it does make sense.


~*~Temma~*~

smurf
February 18th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Quick question.
In the UK when someone retires the usual unimaginative leaving gift is to get them a clock, is this the case in the US as well?

Mr Prophet
February 18th, 2005, 02:41 PM
Quick question.
In the UK when someone retires the usual unimaginative leaving gift is to get them a clock, is this the case in the US as well?

My exposure to US media informs me that a cheap, gold-effect watch is standard.

smurf
February 18th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Thanks. Although bit of a shame since I think clock will probably sound better in the line.

smurf
February 27th, 2005, 08:18 AM
Don't know if these have been posted before, but they might be useful:
http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/ - British/American dictionary
http://www.effingpot.com/index.shtml - The American's guide to speaking British.

Now I should go write my fic before my head explodes :D

Mr Prophet
April 6th, 2005, 01:56 PM
In Britain, if you make a one-off bet it's called a little flutter. Is this used in America; or is there an American equivalent?

LoneStar1836
April 6th, 2005, 09:37 PM
In Britain, if you make a one-off bet it's called a little flutter. Is this used in America; or is there an American equivalent?I've never heard that word used before. Closest equivalent I can think of would be to make a wager. “Care to make a little wager that season 9 will be the last season of SG-1.” ;)

Don't know if that helps you or not.

sgcgirl52
April 7th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Huh??? What's is a one-off bet ???

~*~Temma~*~

Mr Prophet
April 8th, 2005, 12:18 AM
Huh??? What's is a one-off bet ???

~*~Temma~*~

A bet you make just on the spur of the moment that isn't part of a gambling habit and which usually isn't based on any great knowledge of the event in question. For example, a lot of people who don't normally bet have a flutter on the Grand National.

KatG
April 8th, 2005, 03:21 AM
A bet you make just on the spur of the moment that isn't part of a gambling habit and which usually isn't based on any great knowledge of the event in question. For example, a lot of people who don't normally bet have a flutter on the Grand National.

I'd have to agree with Lonestar and say an American would say "a little wager" instead of "flutter".

buckner
April 8th, 2005, 03:35 AM
Yes, Americans would not normally say flutter, but when people talk about their hearts they use flutter alot.

ohshocking
April 12th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Just wanted to say I've rather enjoyed reading this thread, it's been enlightening and quite fascinating. I've discovered a lot of words that I just thought were, well, common words, are Britishisms, such as 'whilst', I never knew Americans didn't say that.

I wanted to ask if a lot of Americans get annoyed when British writers don't change the 'ou' to 'o'? Because some people on this thread have said it really puts them off a fic, which I think is a little unfair to Brit writers, whose fics might not be given a chance. It would be incredibly difficult to write in the American way, when a lot of the time we don't realise that words are spelt differently in the US. I have read many a Harry Potter or Jane Austen fic that uses the American spellings, so I guess I've got used to the spellings not being 'right' for the book/TV show.

I do agree that the sayings etc, should definitely be changed, though. I'd be rather annoyed if in a Harry Potter fic, Ron started saying 'ya'll' or him and Hermione went off to 'make out'.

LoneStar1836
April 12th, 2005, 09:40 PM
I wanted to ask if a lot of Americans get annoyed when British writers don't change the 'ou' to 'o'? Because some people on this thread have said it really puts them off a fic, which I think is a little unfair to Brit writers, whose fics might not be given a chance. It would be incredibly difficult to write in the American way, when a lot of the time we don't realise that words are spelt differently in the US.I’m not a big fanfic reader, but it wouldn’t bother me because I’ve become so accustomed to seeing it on this board. It’s just a dead give away that posters are not American, even if they don’t have their location posted. :P So to answer your question, I would not consider not reading someone’s fic solely on that basis. I wouldn’t expect you to change the way you spell words cause I wouldn’t think people on the other side of the pond would expect us to change. :) Or I hope y'all wouldn’t. :D

But yeah, I would agree expressions need to fit with the nationality of the character even if the spelling of certain words does not.

tsaxlady
April 12th, 2005, 09:53 PM
I wanted to ask if a lot of Americans get annoyed when British writers don't change the 'ou' to 'o'? Because some people on this thread have said it really puts them off a fic, which I think is a little unfair to Brit writers, whose fics might not be given a chance. It would be incredibly difficult to write in the American way, when a lot of the time we don't realise that words are spelt differently in the US.

I have just started read fanfic - but the spelling does not really bother me. It is just when a character uses a phrase or term that is out of character that I have a hard time reading the work.

galadriel_freak
April 13th, 2005, 09:36 AM
i just want to hear jack say 'holy wah" at some point... i live in the U.P. of michigan... and people say that all the time... kinda like 'oh ****' .... i lived in MN too and hear people say that there too, since the lingo kinda spreads from MN across WIS and into the UP.....

KatG
April 13th, 2005, 01:20 PM
I wanted to ask if a lot of Americans get annoyed when British writers don't change the 'ou' to 'o'?......

I do agree that the sayings etc, should definitely be changed, though. I'd be rather annoyed if in a Harry Potter fic, Ron started saying 'ya'll' or him and Hermione went off to 'make out'.



The 'o' vs. 'ou' doesn't bother me at all. Half the time I don't even notice it, even when I beta for my UK buddy. In fact I'm liable to spell it with an 'ou' myself I've gotten so used to seeing it.

However, British sayings will throw me off. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll quit reading, but it does break the flow for me. I probably mentioned this before, but when I read that Jack's in a jumper, I start to wonder if I'm reading slash by accident. 8)

ohshocking
April 14th, 2005, 01:15 PM
The 'o' vs. 'ou' doesn't bother me at all. Half the time I don't even notice it, even when I beta for my UK buddy. In fact I'm liable to spell it with an 'ou' myself I've gotten so used to seeing it.

However, British sayings will throw me off. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll quit reading, but it does break the flow for me. I probably mentioned this before, but when I read that Jack's in a jumper, I start to wonder if I'm reading slash by accident. 8)
Lol! :) Yes, I had no idea a jumper was like a dress thing in the US until I read this thread. But yeah, I agree with the sayings thing, because then it'd just be a bad fic because they'd be out of character anyway... :)

sgcgirl52
April 14th, 2005, 04:13 PM
To me a jumper is like overalls (actually shorts overalls....a least for a little girl) becasue that is what my mom used to call mine. But ya to most of us in the States a jumper is a dress..hehehehe I guess its b/c you can'jump' into it. Who knows....

~*~Temma~*~

P.S. A jumper is a sweater in the Uk right?

ohshocking
April 14th, 2005, 10:01 PM
P.S. A jumper is a sweater in the Uk right?
Yep, it is :) I can definitely see why the difference would confuse people in fanfics!

ellen323
April 21st, 2005, 07:04 AM
I use frock and I'm American.....but I don't use it for apperances sake. I just have always have used it and I'm not old at all. I use it when I'm refering to and ugly dress or something that is gaudy (SP?) or really big...it all depends on the situation.

Another note: I'm not to big on the 're' or 'ou' spelling things because I have enough problems spelling stuff so I don't get on other people. But I do have a problem with people (I'm not sure if they are British or what have you) using the word Blouse when they are refering to a man's shirt. A blouse is a womans shirt. Normally a bit dressy (the better side of dress casual). I have seen fics talking about Jack's blouse and I just get this image of Jack in a frilly, tappered in at the waist, button down, woman's dress shirt. Its really disturbing and is one of my biggest pet peves. Please spread the word and stop making men dress in drag in fics when its not called for (not that it can't be funny for guys to dress in drag...or wrong in any way....just when that's not what they're going for....you know what I mean). It pulls me out of the story so quick and I have to force my self to finish reading. Gaha....ya so there is my buck fifty worth of comment....def. going to stop talking now and get back to the ever increasing pile of work that I intend to leave for later.


~*~Temma~*~

}=D

Just adding my 2 cent. The U.S. Marine Corp refer to their uniform shirts as blouses. (my father was a Marine)

the Fifth Race
April 21st, 2005, 08:56 AM
A bet you make just on the spur of the moment that isn't part of a gambling habit and which usually isn't based on any great knowledge of the event in question. For example, a lot of people who don't normally bet have a flutter on the Grand National.


we have a name for this kind of bet in America..... 'stupid, lose your money bet!'....lolol ;) I believe we call that 'a spur of the moment bet' or an 'off the cuff bet'

buckner
April 21st, 2005, 12:47 PM
Just adding my 2 cent. The U.S. Marine Corp refer to their uniform shirts as blouses. (my father was a Marine)
hat is a cover, I could never say that.

Mr Prophet
April 21st, 2005, 01:03 PM
we have a name for this kind of bet in America..... 'stupid, lose your money bet!'....lolol ;)

Tautology, surely?

sgcgirl52
April 25th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Okay I guess your right there. Uniform wise, yes a blouse is a shirt for anyone. But in the fics I'm refering too, its when Jack or Danny are out of uniform in civvies that the author refers to them as wearing blouses. And That's just wrong. }=D

~*~Temma~*~

KSTreadhead
April 25th, 2005, 06:07 PM
Well as for the regionalisms mine tend to be like the Kansas prairie a little rough is some areas and a little flat in others. Then sometimes they are like Kansas petrolium, crude and unrefined.

As for the military based jargon, I do understand the British and Commonwealth term of Seconding, it is similar to TDY for Tempory Duty in the United State Army including its reserve componants the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. I have been on my share of TDYs in the Army National Guard when I was a lowly Cannoneer. I used to be part of a firing battery's Special Weapons Section and had to do training on times and at locations seperate from my home unit. I earned my share of per dium then. Now as for seconding in the United States Army in the last ten years the power that be in the Pentagon did start a program of assigning Company and Field Grade officers to command or be on the staves of National Guard and Army Reserve fromations. I do not think that this counted as the what the British reffer to as Seconding though.

Again on the localisms if you can do them fine, but if not just stick with what you know, and do a character in you stories that is from your region and write about their interactions with the other personnel of the SGC. Considering that it is an International Unit now though still part of the USAF. So a British Officer or NCO assigned either for a single mission or on an as needed basis to SG-1 or as part of another SG team that is assigned to assist SG-1 on its mission should work. The International Officer or NCO could also be Russian, German, Canadian, Israeli, Italian, French (?), Chinese, Japanese, Mexican (?), or from anywhere on Earth that is working with the USA and the USAF-SGC.

For characters from the US or other nations just listen to the dialog in movies from those countries, foriegn television broadcasts or cablecasts, or to internet radio casts. With particular attention paid to the English language ones from Non-English speaking nations as this will let you know how those nations' nationals speak the English language.

I hope this is helpful. I just thought that since I am both a Stargate Fan and a Mass Media major as well as a former member of the Army National Guard with a little over 15 years of time in service I might have some ensight on this.

I would like to add that if you are a former or current member of your nations military or naval forces remember too that the SGC grabs people for other branches besides the United States Air Force without being brow beaten into it by the diplomatic corpses of the United States and Russsia. This is in refference to the Russian SG teams now part of the SGC. Write the your character from you perspective unless you have resources that can help you with how to protray someone not of your service experience. As a former member of the Army National Guard the character I use in my story that I am about to finish and post is a Military Police First Lieutenant in the Army National Guard that led her MP Platoon into a fight with some Jafa protecting a crashed Alkesh in the Iraqi Desert west of Baghdad. She was only a Second Lieutenant (Promoteable) at the time, but I am having the powers that be transferring her and all the non-married personnel of the Platoon being transferred to the SGC as a security force for an off-world base while the married personnel have had their activations extended for the duration plus six months and asssigned as base personnel at the SGC portion of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. This is done to keep as much of the news of the interstellar war and off-world travel a secret for as long as they can.

KSTreadhead
April 25th, 2005, 06:10 PM
Yep one should call the mens tops shirts. The only blouse in the military is the BDU or ACU (Army Combat Uniform) top which is also reffered to as the Jacket.
Douglas "KSTreadhead" Hemmingway

galadriel_freak
April 27th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Last summer we had a lot of Michigan-ers and Minnosodians (SP?). I can assure you Jack would call coke pop.


yes... thank you... i'm from Michigan and grew up in Minnesota... it's pop, you bake with soda and coke is a brand... it's a major pet peeve of mine... and stupid as that sounds...

and there is definatly a specific accent for those of us who live up near the canadian boarder... and i still flip my lip with joy when jack brings out his minnasooo'in... *the letter T tends to be missing from our speech*

"Ya sure yoo be'cha"

sgcgirl52
April 27th, 2005, 07:55 PM
aww I miss my camp friends form that area....

~*~Temma~*~ (whose going off to see if some of the people are going back this summer....basically ignor me...hehehe }=D )

Mr Prophet
April 28th, 2005, 08:36 AM
aww I miss my camp friends form that area...

Speaking of linguistic differences...

sgcgirl52
April 29th, 2005, 03:54 PM
hehehe oops meant From hehehehe

~*~Temma~*~

Mr Prophet
April 29th, 2005, 11:25 PM
hehehe oops meant From hehehehe

~*~Temma~*~

I make that typo all the time; I was thinking of 'camp friends', actually.

sgcgirl52
April 30th, 2005, 09:24 AM
Oh...huh didn't think there was a different way to put that...hehehehe

~*~Temma~*~

Lida
April 30th, 2005, 09:45 AM
America, like Canada and Australia, is a huge country. As there are regional differences in Canada, there are major regional differences in speech in America. In the NE, you never hear soda called pop. In the Philly area, people pronounce gas as "gaz".....it goes on and on.

What we need is a Mutli-national Regional Dialect dictionary....would make writing fan fic much simpler. ;) Anyone up to tackling it?????

Madeleine
May 12th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Can any Americans tell me what "panhandling" is? It was a term used on ER a lot yesterday and I've not heard it before.

Also, the American word "plow", is it the same as the UK word "plough"? Does it rhyme with "blow" or "how"?

LoneStar1836
May 12th, 2005, 08:55 PM
Can any Americans tell me what "panhandling" is? It was a term used on ER a lot yesterday and I've not heard it before.It's when you come up to strangers and ask or beg for money. Panhandling. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=panhandling)


Also, the American word "plow", is it the same as the UK word "plough"? Does it rhyme with "blow" or "how"?It rhymes with “how”. And I believe it’s the same word as “plough”. Definition of plow (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=plow).

Hope that helps. :)

Mr Prophet
May 13th, 2005, 07:44 AM
Also, the American word "plow", is it the same as the UK word "plough"? Does it rhyme with "blow" or "how"?

It rhymes with plough. There's a Sherlock Holmes story about it; the one with the Garridebs.

I think the real question is why plough doesn't rhyme with cough, through or enough.

EllieV
May 16th, 2005, 08:00 PM
In American, is the word crosslegged one word or two, or is it hyphenated, please? I would write it as one but Word is frowning at me and giving it to me as hyphenated.

Thank you!

Major Tyler
May 16th, 2005, 09:59 PM
In American, is the word crosslegged one word or two, or is it hyphenated, please? I would write it as one but Word is frowning at me and giving it to me as hyphenated. Thank you!I use a hyphen.

EllieV
May 17th, 2005, 08:50 PM
Thanks, Major Tyler.

I also have a punctuation question. Americans, I notice, tend to use double quotation marks for speech. What about quotes within quotes. Where I'm from we use single quotation marks and double if it's a quote within a quote. e.g. 'The boy stood on the burning deck and said, "I have a pocketful of crackers," and then he exploded,' the girl related. How does that work in the US?

LoneStar1836
May 17th, 2005, 09:56 PM
I also have a punctuation question. Americans, I notice, tend to use double quotation marks for speech. What about quotes within quotes. Where I'm from we use single quotation marks and double if it's a quote within a quote. e.g. 'The boy stood on the burning deck and said, "I have a pocketful of crackers," and then he exploded,' the girl related. How does that work in the US?The opposite of your example. Double quotes on the person speaking and single for the quote within the quote.

“The boy stood on the burning deck and said, ‘I have a pocketful of crackers,’ and then he exploded,” the girl related.

LOL! Your example sentence is creative. :D At first I thought you meant crackers that you eat, but I’m guessing you mean like firecrackers (fireworks/Black Cats). :S :D

EllieV
May 18th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Thank you for that. Just a clarification of something I saw this morning: When you do have a quote within a quote, but if a quote within a quote ends the sentence, how does the punctuation go? e.g. if the sentence went:

She said, "The boy said he stood on the burning desk and 'had a pocketful of crackers'."

The quote within the quote is 'had a pocketful of crackers'. Do you then put the full stop inside the two quotation marks? Or should it be 'had a pocketful of crackers.'"

Major Tyler
May 18th, 2005, 11:45 PM
Thank you for that. Just a clarification of something I saw this morning: When you do have a quote within a quote, but if a quote within a quote ends the sentence, how does the punctuation go? e.g. if the sentence went:

She said, "The boy said he stood on the burning desk and 'had a pocketful of crackers'."

The quote within the quote is 'had a pocketful of crackers'. Do you then put the full stop inside the two quotation marks? Or should it be 'had a pocketful of crackers.'"The punctuation is always inside the quotation marks, regardless of how many there are, and double and single quotation marks alternate if you have many quotes within quotes.

Check out this example...

Ellie was furious, "Look what they said in the New York Times! 'When approaching Congress, the President looks less and less like the leader of a nation and more like the orphan child Oliver asking "Please, sir, I'd like some more."'"

Jolinar of Malkshur
May 22nd, 2005, 12:07 PM
What we need is a Mutli-national Regional Dialect dictionary....would make writing fan fic much simpler. ;) Anyone up to tackling it?????

Certainly not me, but I would forever love the person who is!

Lida
May 22nd, 2005, 03:14 PM
OK, I'll go for it, one thing though. Who pays for my traveling expenses???? I'm in the US.....so traveling around here isn't too bad. I can drive to many places. However, trekking around Great Britain will be a tad more difficult. I will NOT drive there, tried it once and almost killed myself and a sweet little old lady. :D

Guess I could have a garage sale....my car barely fits into it anymore, anyway........ :rolleyes:

LurkerLa
May 23rd, 2005, 09:24 PM
Hullo all *waves shyly* :)

Was poking around and popped into this thread because language and linguistics are interests of mine, and I enjoy noticing the differences when I read fanfic (even though I don't write it myself).

But given that you were talking about regional dialects, I thought y'all (yes, I say y'all, even though my language patterns were set in Hawaii and Washington, DC, not in the south - go figure) might find these links useful. I haven't played around on them much since my last linguistics class, when I found them useful. They're mostly informational, but some of the external links under each dialect could be helpful. This is not just North American English, but (I think) all varieties.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Regional-accents-of-English-speakers

http://www.answers.com/topic/regional-accents-of-english-speakers

Also, for some very specific North American dialect differences, there was a Harvard Dialect Survey. Not as generally useful, but might resolve a specific question with its maps. http://cfprod01.imt.uwm.edu/Dept/FLL/linguistics/dialect/

If you're really dedicated and want to spend money, there is a Dictionary of Regional American English. Another book, which I adore (if it is a bit outdated) is The Story of English, which was published in conjunction with a PBS television series (interesting and funny to watch :)).

Anyway - don't know if you'd find this useful and helpful, or a waste of space, but thought I'd toss it out! :D

Sela
May 25th, 2005, 06:50 AM
When a friend forwarded this email to me this morning, I instantly thought of this thread. I hope everyone enjoys it and it gives you a smile today.
===============

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
===================================
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what other language do people:

Recite at a play and play at a recital?

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?

Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
=======================================
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it
was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

LurkerLa
May 25th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Just another little something y'all might find useful - once it gets off the ground/its feet under it (if you want to talk about strangely synonymous phrases). ;) It's still very new, I believe.

Across the Pond (Common Language) (http://www.livejournal.com/community/commonlanguage/)

EllieV
May 30th, 2005, 03:13 PM
The punctuation is always inside the quotation marks, regardless of how many there are, and double and single quotation marks alternate if you have many quotes within quotes.

Check out this example...

Ellie was furious, "Look what they said in the New York Times! 'When approaching Congress, the President looks less and less like the leader of a nation and more like the orphan child Oliver asking "Please, sir, I'd like some more."'"

Excellent, thank you. :)

What about the word practice? Here, that spelling is the noun, practise the verb, but in some American books I've seen it the other way around. Should I write "He practiced his cool look in the mirror" or "He practised his cool look in the mirror"?

PsychoPenguin
May 30th, 2005, 03:47 PM
It should be "He practiced his cool look in the mirror."

Although I had to think about that. I lived in England for three years, and even after two years back, I still have to stop myself from ending my "ice" verbs with "ise." :)

Living in multiple places has made me very sensitive to subtle errors though, from several regions of the States and both sides of the pond. In fact, I think sometimes I spot words and phrases other people read right through. Add to that the facts that I'm a college writing teacher and my husband is an Air Force officer and you have many, many times when reading "Stargate" fanfic that I have to turn my inner critic off and blaze right through. (And I have to do it on the boards as well sometimes. Mallozi spelled the verb "affected" like the noun form "effected" and it was all I could do not to get my red pen out and mark on the screen.) :rolleyes:

Major Tyler
May 30th, 2005, 04:58 PM
Excellent, thank you. :)

What about the word practice? Here, that spelling is the noun, practise the verb, but in some American books I've seen it the other way around. Should I write "He practiced his cool look in the mirror" or "He practised his cool look in the mirror"?Practice is always spelled with a "c" as far as I have ever seen.

Mr Prophet
May 30th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Excellent, thank you. :)

What about the word practice? Here, that spelling is the noun, practise the verb, but in some American books I've seen it the other way around. Should I write "He practiced his cool look in the mirror" or "He practised his cool look in the mirror"?

In the UK, the latter; in the US, either would do. Practise is the verb, but the distinction has been pretty-much abandoned in the States, which makes a lot of sense to me.

VirtualCLD
May 31st, 2005, 07:43 AM
In the UK, the latter; in the US, either would do. Practise is the verb, but the distinction has been pretty-much abandoned in the States, which makes a lot of sense to me.

I never even knew there was a distinction, I don't think I've ever seen an '...ice' ending word spelled '...ise,' or if I did, I must have read over it and forgot about it.


12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

In the list that this came from, every phrase had one word that was repeated but pronounced differently. Is row supposed to be pronounced differently when describing a arguement as opposed to a means of propelling a boat, because I've always pronounced them the same way?

Mr Prophet
May 31st, 2005, 07:50 AM
I never even knew there was a distinction, I don't think I've ever seen an '...ice' ending word spelled '...ise,' or if I did, I must have read over it and forgot about it.

Surely, even in America you advise someone, you don't advice them. Practice and practise are different in that the pronunciation is virtually identical.


In the list that this came from, every phrase had one word that was repeated but pronounced differently. Is row supposed to be pronounced differently when describing a arguement as opposed to a means of propelling a boat, because I've always pronounced them the same way?

Row (argument) rhymes with now, or cow.
Row (propel a boat) rhymes with go or show.

VirtualCLD
May 31st, 2005, 07:56 AM
Surely, even in America you advise someone, you don't advice them. Practice and practise are different in that the pronunciation is virtually identical.

You are quite right. I guess it's because we (or maybe just me) pronounce certain 'ice' words like practice and practise the same way, we spell it the same way as well.


Row (argument) rhymes with now, or cow.
Row (propel a boat) rhymes with go or show.

I've always pronounced "Row (argument)" like show, I never knew that was wrong.

EDIT:
I do have one question related to an earlier post I made. In America we call say flashlight and not torch, but in Britain, how do you distinguish between an old fashion torch that's on fire and one that's electric.

One example I think of is:
When reading and/or listening to Hitchhiker's about Arthur Dent having to go down to the basement of the City Planning Department's building to see the plans for the bypass, I've always had this imgae in my head of going down these dark, medieval castle steps with torch on fire, giving the scene a more humorous tone. Then I finally realized when he said torch, he meant flashlight, but I've always thought that my first impression was more Douglas Adams styled humor.

Mr Prophet
May 31st, 2005, 10:43 AM
I do have one question related to an earlier post I made. In America we call say flashlight and not torch, but in Britain, how do you distinguish between an old fashion torch that's on fire and one that's electric.

Context, mostly. If you had to, I guess you'd call the burning one a brand, rather than a torch.

PsychoPenguin
May 31st, 2005, 02:05 PM
I never even knew there was a distinction, I don't think I've ever seen an '...ice' ending word spelled '...ise,' or if I did, I must have read over it and forgot about it.


That's because it's considered an old-fashioned variant over here. I took a class on "The History of the Language" when I was getting my master's degree, and we did a lot of trying to trace shifts and changes. We couldn't nail down exactly when most Americans started spelling many "ise" verbs with "ice" and "ize" (like realize and scandalize), but we thought the bulk of the changes happened sometime during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

So you're not alone in that. Most people probably aren't aware that form has ever been used over here.

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 03:27 AM
Another question: Is the phrase 'to be in there' (to mean having a good chance of scoring, as in: "I think you're in there") in common - or even occasional - use in the States?

On the subject of casual dating language, would an American in fact refer to picking someone up in a public place as 'pulling', or indeed 'scoring'? If not, what might the alternative be?

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 05:04 AM
Another question: Is the phrase 'to be in there' (to mean having a good chance of scoring, as in: "I think you're in there") in common - or even occasional - use in the States?

I'd be more likely to say "you're in the zone".


On the subject of casual dating language, would an American in fact refer to picking someone up in a public place as 'pulling', or indeed 'scoring'? If not, what might the alternative be?

"Scoring" would be a proper usage. Never heard "pulling".

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 05:49 AM
I'd be more likely to say "you're in the zone".

But wouldn't that be more general? "You're in there" would refer to a particular person, for example if someone seemed to be flirting with one of your mates you might nudge said mate and comment: 'you're in there', whereas they'd be in the zone if they were on everyone's dance card.


"Scoring" would be a proper usage. Never heard "pulling".

Like scoring, but with a little more effort involved. You could score just by hitting it off with someone, but you'd only pull if you set out to do so; if you were, in fact, 'on the pull'.

Major Tyler
June 1st, 2005, 06:33 AM
But wouldn't that be more general? "You're in there" would refer to a particular person, for example if someone seemed to be flirting with one of your mates you might nudge said mate and comment: 'you're in there', whereas they'd be in the zone if they were on everyone's dance card.I'm from the Pacific Northwest and I have never heard anyone say "you're in there" in the context that you're using it, nor have I heard it on TV. We just don't use it.
Like scoring, but with a little more effort involved. You could score just by hitting it off with someone, but you'd only pull if you set out to do so; if you were, in fact, 'on the pull'.Americans might say "I was pulling for you," which means I was hoping you succeed, but most often we say "I was rooting for you." We never say anything like "on the pull." If I said that my buds would think I was drunk or something. :P In the context you mean, "scoring" would be appropriate. "In the zone" would also work, but most often means a string of successes, one after the other.

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 06:55 AM
But wouldn't that be more general? "You're in there" would refer to a particular person, for example if someone seemed to be flirting with one of your mates you might nudge said mate and comment: 'you're in there', whereas they'd be in the zone if they were on everyone's dance card.

I understand now what you're trying to convey, but it's just not an American expression. I suppose you could say "you're in the running". I've heard that used before.


Like scoring, but with a little more effort involved. You could score just by hitting it off with someone, but you'd only pull if you set out to do so; if you were, in fact, 'on the pull'.

Again, "on the pull" isn't an American expression. But now that I understand what you're trying to say, the closest expression would be "on the make". Scoring would as you said, be if you actually "made it". :)

Skydiver
June 1st, 2005, 07:21 AM
Another question: Is the phrase 'to be in there' (to mean having a good chance of scoring, as in: "I think you're in there") in common - or even occasional - use in the States?

for that, i think we'd use
you're in the running
you're on the short list (as if you're going to be chosen for something)
you got a chance


On the subject of casual dating language, would an American in fact refer to picking someone up in a public place as 'pulling', or indeed 'scoring'? If not, what might the alternative be?

well, scoring might refer to actually...um scoring ;)
as in accomplishing an act of intimacy with the person.

if i was, say, going to abar and meeting someone to spend time with, i'd hear it referred to as

i went to a bar last night and i picked up a person, i met someone

if you succeed in getting to know ;) that person then you
scored
got lucky
hit a home run

pulling...don't really use pulling in that context that i've ever heard

Major Tyler
June 1st, 2005, 07:29 AM
Again, "on the pull" isn't an American expression. But now that I understand what you're trying to say, the closest expression would be "on the make". Scoring would as you said, be if you actually "made it". :)Yeah, I've heard "on the make" before, but never spoken by the average person. It sounds kind of aristocratic to my ears.

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 07:36 AM
Yeah, I've heard "on the make" before, but never spoken by the average person. It sounds kind of aristocratic to my ears.

Might be a southern expression, as that's where I'm from. 8)

Shipperahoy
June 1st, 2005, 09:05 AM
On the make sounds old fashioned to me, probably because I hear my mom use it, then again she's from the south so maybe it is a more southern expression.

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
On the make sounds old fashioned to me, probably because I hear my mom use it, then again she's from the south so maybe it is a more southern expression.

Well, in the UK a person who was on the make would be unscrupulously in search of profit.

Major Tyler
June 1st, 2005, 09:33 AM
Might be a southern expression, as that's where I'm from. 8)That could very well be. I've only lived in the Pacific Northwest and the Mid-West so maybe that expression hasn't made it up here.

Shipperahoy
June 1st, 2005, 09:35 AM
Well, on the make here also has a more tawdry slant to it, though not in regards to profit. At least here it does. It implies that a person is looking to...um...score ;) and isn't very particular about who with.

As I said, it's mostly from my mom that I heard this phrase but it was almost always in the "You stay away from that boy, he's on the make" context. :D However, it's certainly not a phrase I or anybody I know close to my age has ever used in every day conversation.

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 10:49 AM
Well, in the UK a person who was on the make would be unscrupulously in search of profit.

And for that I would say someone's "on the take". :)

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 10:55 AM
Well, on the make here also has a more tawdry slant to it, though not in regards to profit. At least here it does. It implies that a person is looking to...um...score ;) and isn't very particular about who with.

As I said, it's mostly from my mom that I heard this phrase but it was almost always in the "You stay away from that boy, he's on the make" context. :D However, it's certainly not a phrase I or anybody I know close to my age has ever used in every day conversation.

Seeing as how I was 15 when you were born, it's quite possible that no one that you hung out with used that phrase. And since it's been over 20 years since I was in a position to pay attention as to whether someone was on the make or not, it may very well not be used anymore. 8)

Given that, and given that Jack is 10 years older than me, and Sam and Daniel (at least according to Stargate time) are around the same age as I am, it could be a phrase they're familiar with and would use.

PsychoPenguin
June 1st, 2005, 11:03 AM
Seeing as how I was 15 when you were born, it's quite possible that no one that you hung out with used that phrase. And since it's been over 20 years since I was in a position to pay attention as to whether someone was on the make or not, it may very well not be used anymore. 8)

Given that, and given that Jack is 10 years older than me, and Sam and Daniel (at least according to Stargate time) are around the same age as I am, it could be a phrase they're familiar with and would use.

Hmmm...I'm in your age bracket as well, and I've always heard people use phrases like the following when they're "going clubbing" or "going barhopping."

"I'm looking to score."

"Trying to get lucky."

And whenever someone did do well, and, um, "disappeared" for the rest of the night:

"Dude, he got lucky with that blonde chick and left with her."

"He totally scored."

Or if say, they ended up back at the table:

"Ouch. Crash and burn."

"Totally bombed."

Of course, take into account I've spent the past decade and a half hanging out with Air Force types and other military personnel. I've noticed our metaphors and idioms tend to be more violent than most normal people's. :)

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 11:10 AM
And for that I would say someone's "on the take". :)

Ah; well here, if you're on the take you're specifically accepting bribes, whereas someone on the make is just looking out for number one. An embezzler, meanwhile, is on the fiddle, a binge drinker is on the piss and someone doing well is on the up-and-up.

Shipperahoy
June 1st, 2005, 12:48 PM
Well here if you say that someone is on the up-and-up it means that they're being honest with you or that they're legitimate.

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 12:56 PM
Well here if you say that someone is on the up-and-up it means that they're being honest with you or that they're legitimate.

On the level, you mean?

Shipperahoy
June 1st, 2005, 12:58 PM
On the level, you mean?

Exactly. The whole "on the piss" and taking the piss were so confusing to me. MC used to sprinkle those phrases through our IM conversations and before I asked her what they meant I just thought perhaps she was a little pervy. Not that she's not a little pervy though. :D

Mr Prophet
June 1st, 2005, 01:12 PM
Exactly. The whole "on the piss" and taking the piss were so confusing to me. MC used to sprinkle those phrases through our IM conversations and before I asked her what they meant I just thought perhaps she was a little pervy. Not that she's not a little pervy though. :D

MC certainly isn't a little pervy.

No. Not a little pervy at all.

Wordsmit2
June 1st, 2005, 01:29 PM
Answer to an old question:


Here's one that I'm unsure of: do U.S. men use the term "trousers"? I've heard pants, jeans, khakis, dockers, and even "slacks" for suits.

In short, yes.

It's very much a matter of context. In talking to family or friends he'll use the first word that comes to mind. But in talking in a business or retail context he'll say trousers or pants.

A person who reads a lot will usually say "trousers" because he's aware "pants" has other meanings.

"Slacks" is probably too regional for Stargate. It's never heard in TV, but people usually know what you mean, so obviously it's not all *that* regional. It can refer to formal or casual.

In most of the U.S., "Dockers" specifically refers to the brand name.

"Khakis" are always some color of tan. It can refer to formal or casual.

"Jeans" specifically refers to, well, jeans. While "jeans" are almost always denim, the term can also refer to clothes cut in the same way as jeans.

Wordsmit2
June 1st, 2005, 02:15 PM
Another couple of old questions, because there wasn't a lot of response:


I think I'm going to go with either Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mocking Bird as the book Ferretti claims he was given as a child and still hasn't read. Thanks all.

If literally a child, go with "To Kill a Mockingbird". "Catcher in the Rye" is more teenage fare.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is an excellent choice anyway.


Nothing on the Peter Principle? Is that because you've never heard of it or because you're like, 'duh'?

People in engineering and technical fields are quite aware of the Peter Principle. (And lots of other Principles, Laws, Effects, etc.) But people outside those fields, no not really, except for those who read a lot of sci-fi.

samjack4ever
June 1st, 2005, 02:31 PM
Quick qusetion...

Do American's say bloody - "As in bloody hell the dogs crapped on the carpet"?

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 02:38 PM
Hmmm...I'm in your age bracket as well, and I've always heard people use phrases like the following when they're "going clubbing" or "going barhopping."

"I'm looking to score."

"Trying to get lucky."

And whenever someone did do well, and, um, "disappeared" for the rest of the night:

"Dude, he got lucky with that blonde chick and left with her."

"He totally scored."

Or if say, they ended up back at the table:

"Ouch. Crash and burn."

"Totally bombed."

Of course, take into account I've spent the past decade and a half hanging out with Air Force types and other military personnel. I've noticed our metaphors and idioms tend to be more violent than most normal people's. :)

I've heard those phrases, I'd just forgotten them, which is understandable, since the last time I was interested in the club scene was 22 years ago. 8)

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 02:42 PM
Quick qusetion...

Do American's say bloody - "As in bloody hell the dogs crapped on the carpet"?

Nope. Not unless they've been strongly influenced by their British friends on the internet. 8) Just leave "bloody" out and use the rest of the sentence.

PsychoPenguin
June 1st, 2005, 02:47 PM
I've heard those phrases, I'd just forgotten them, which is understandable, since the last time I was interested in the club scene was 22 years ago. 8)

Yeah, I know what you mean...

My husband and I are always trying to hang around the people who work for him though, which runs the age gamut from early twenties to late thirties, so I still hear these things. Also, I teach eighteen-year-olds who are always wanting to share far more in their essays than they really should. :)

Wordsmit2
June 1st, 2005, 02:50 PM
What we need is a Mutli-national Regional Dialect dictionary....would make writing fan fic much simpler. ;) Anyone up to tackling it?????

Hopeless cause, for the U.S. anyway. The popularity and connotations of words and phrases change far too quickly, and change at different rates in place A and place B.

Broadly, language evolves in the U.S. thus: People who don't have a very broad vocabulary (especially kids) invent their own dialects from books they've read, rare words they've heard that they don't know the meaning of, and made up phrases. As families move around, the dialect phrases migrate too. If enough people begin using a phrase, it will start appearing in the film industry, which vastly broadens the number of people exposed to it. If it is used long enough and widely enough it will be considered standard English. But in all probability it will be passe within ten years.

Great example: "gnarly". --Derived from surfer slang, this word became popular in the 1980s, although in public use it had two contradictory meanings. To this day people will actually get into shouting arguments over whether it meant bad or good.

KatG
June 1st, 2005, 05:16 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean...

My husband and I are always trying to hang around the people who work for him though, which runs the age gamut from early twenties to late thirties, so I still hear these things. Also, I teach eighteen-year-olds who are always wanting to share far more in their essays than they really should. :)

That explains it. Eighteen year olds can be quite interesting. :)

Skydiver
June 1st, 2005, 06:19 PM
we have a lot of people stretched out over a huge land mass, so we do have very distinct regionalisms, not to mention differences in terms/slang from urban to rural

it's entirely possible for a person from the south to talk to a person from the north and them to have comprehension issues

we're a country of immigrants, and absorb traits from all that come here. not to mention words/food/clothing, etc.

Major Clanger
June 3rd, 2005, 10:43 AM
MC certainly isn't a little pervy.

No. Not a little pervy at all.

more Britishisms for you non Britishers out there

Mr.P - wanna bunch of fives?

*tries to look mean - remembers Mean is her middle name and grins in an evil, but cute way*

Mr Prophet
June 3rd, 2005, 11:25 AM
it's entirely possible for a person from the south to talk to a person from the north and them to have comprehension issues

As in the celebrated Bill Bryson 'hah d'ya lah M'seppah' exchange.


more Britishisms for you non Britishers out there

Mr.P - wanna bunch of fives?

*tries to look mean - remembers Mean is her middle name and grins in an evil, but cute way*

True, but so are Evil, Cute, Trouble, Pernickety and Jeremy.

Where's Clangu'ur? :eek: Whatever has become of him?

Major Clanger
June 3rd, 2005, 01:40 PM
True, but so are Evil, Cute, Trouble, Pernickety and Jeremy.

Where's Clangu'ur? :eek: Whatever has become of him?

I work with a young lady from South Carolina - i only understand about 50% of what she says when she's been on the phone to her parents.

I thought you weren't going to tell anyone about Jeremy... I've kept that off the list so far.

As for Lord Clangu'ur.... he's vanished.I'm trying to get him back, but I don't have him on this computer, and I don't have access to my (dead) desktop so for the moment, we have to assume that Lord Clangu'ur is on vacation.

Or do Americans also say Holiday?

(nice bodyswerve on to topic, eh?)

jckfan55
June 3rd, 2005, 01:53 PM
Or do Americans also say Holiday?

(nice bodyswerve on to topic, eh?)

Well done. Holidays are things like Memorial Day, Christmas, etc. Vacation would be pretty standard, I think, for time off work, taking a trip, etc.

BTW--what are "digestive biscuits?" People always seem to be eating them with tea in the mystery books I've been reading set in England.

Mr Prophet
June 3rd, 2005, 02:05 PM
BTW--what are "digestive biscuits?" People always seem to be eating them with tea in the mystery books I've been reading set in England.

They're a plain, sweet biscuit - which is to say, cookie - eaten either with tea or with cheese; the latter combination seems a little unlikely, but is very nice.

MC: Your Clanger is in the mail.

Major Clanger
June 3rd, 2005, 02:08 PM
They're a plain, sweet biscuit - which is to say, cookie - eaten either with tea or with cheese; the latter combination seems a little unlikely, but is very nice.

MC: Your Clanger is in the mail.

Digestives go better with coffee than tea, though.
*makes mental note to go shopping in Holland to replenish the biscuit supply*

Mr. P: I lurve you more than blue string pudding, you know that???

Mr Prophet
June 3rd, 2005, 02:10 PM
Digestives go better with coffee than tea, though.
*makes mental note to go shopping in Holland to replenish the biscuit supply*

Mr. P: I lurve you more than blue string pudding, you know that???

Apparently the nearest American equivalent is the graham cracker. To digestives, that is; not blue string pudding, which has neither parallel nor equal.

MC: And nothing says love like freshly beta'd fanfic. ;)

Major Clanger
June 3rd, 2005, 02:21 PM
MC: And nothing says love like freshly beta'd fanfic. ;)

squeals with embarassment - sorry, I will try to get one back to you by the end of next week.

SGLAB
June 3rd, 2005, 03:34 PM
I have a question. I'm an American and when I have read fanfiction I have seen certain words hyphenated I've never seen before. For instants. The word Coordinate I often see spelled like Co-ordinate. Also cooperate will be spelled co-operate. I don't know where the writers who use these spellings come from so I don't know where it comes from.

jckfan55
June 4th, 2005, 12:36 PM
Digestives go better with coffee than tea, though.
*makes mental note to go shopping in Holland to replenish the biscuit supply*


Thanks MC and Mr Prophet. They were eating them with coffee yesterday in the book I'm reading now. :)

VonKnibble
June 4th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Thanks MC and Mr Prophet. They were eating them with coffee yesterday in the book I'm reading now. :)

you guy's seem to read an awful lot of books with digestives in 'em. what ya readin'??????

I could allways point you in the direction of a few (British) Author(esses) who write good stuu, without the digestive fetish.

I mean, seriously, the ONLY time digestives are good are when they is covered in chocolate and dunked in tea.


VK