October 17, 2021

British and American

Trans-Atlantic news and events…

Sleeping policeman! And other British quirks

4 min read
<div><a href="https://www.sunjournal.com/2021/10/10/in-a-word-british-is-foreign-to-me/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sleeping policeman! And other British quirks - Lewiston Sun Journal</a>  <font color="#6f6f6f">Lewiston Sun Journal</font></div>

“The British and the American citizens are two nice peoples divided via a not unusual language.” — Attributed to George Bernard Shaw

The above quote is also “totally false in reality,” wrote Christian Science Observe reporter Mallory Browne in 1942, “but such a lot nearer to the reality than simply factual statements ever are.”

I agree — kind of. At the one hand, any one with a just right snatch of American English may just commute to England and feature nearly no downside speaking with the locals. However, one may just, at positive occasions, be simply satisfied that the ones persons are talking a wholly other language.

Why? Smartly first there are their spelling laws. You realize, those that flip a superbly just right phrase like “taste” into “flavour,” or “colour” into “color.” (Apparently, the English spelling of the sports activities apparatus logo Underneath Armour is appropriate in each nations.)

I’ll give the English the “metre” as opposed to “meter” distinction a go, because it mainly is the identify in their unit of size, however do they have got to take a seat within the centre phase of the theatre?

OK, I notice (or is it “realise”?) that those had been at the start their phrases and that we’re those who modified the spellings, so, so that you could easy issues over, we will be able to no less than recognize settlement at the spellings of “bloodbath,” “acre,” “mediocre” and “ogre.”

Sadly, we can even agree on “discussion” and “prologue,” however the query then is why did American citizens have the sense to modify “catalogue” to “catalog”? (Possibly they had been on a temporary roll after leaving behind the British “manoeuver” and “counsellor”?)

However the ones extraordinary (to us) spellings are most effective the start of the variations between the 2 dialects. Let me let you know about (and translate) the hot studies of my German pal Claus as he lately comparable them to me after a longer keep in London with the fam.

Whilst opening his closing tin (can) of beans for supper, he heard his toddler daughter crying in her cot (crib). After sticking a dummy (pacifier) in her mouth to quiet her, Claus found out that her nappy (diaper) used to be in dire want of adjusting.

Tossing the total one into the dustbin (trash can), he discovered that there have been not more in the home and sprinted to the toilet to retrieve a flannel (washcloth) to make use of as an alternative whilst they went to the shop.

Already in his dressing robe (bathrobe) for the night time, Claus went to his dresser (closet) and dug out his pants (undies) and trousers (pants), remembering to lock his braces (suspenders) to carry up his pants . . . er . . . trousers. After discovering his vest (undershirt) and waistcoat (vest), he appeared for his footwear.

His plimsolls (canvas footwear) had been nonetheless rainy from previous, so Claus determined to forgo his running shoes (trainers) and put on his wellingtons (rubber boots).

He loaded his daughter into her pram (stroller), grabbed his brolly (umbrella), and took the raise (elevator) all the way down to the bottom ground (first ground) from his first ground (2nd ground) flat (condominium). Since his automobile used to be nonetheless within the frame store with a smashed wing (fender), he headed directly to the underground (subway). At the method, he used to be nearly hit via the driving force of a lorry (truck), who had pushed up at the pavement (sidewalk).

Arriving on the retailer, he grabbed a buying groceries trolley (cart), and purchased some nappies along side some crisps (chips) and biscuits (cookies) for later.

On his as far back as the tube (every other identify for subway) they had been just about run over within the zebra crossing (crosswalk) via a motive force who did not sluggish for the drowsing policeman (pace bump).

The pair persisted on previous the off-licence (liquor retailer) however did forestall for takeaway (takeout) of a burger and chips (fries) since his beans had been chilly after they arrived house, complete forestall (length).

Jim Witherell of Lewiston is a author and lover of phrases whose paintings comprises “L.L. Bean: The Guy and His Corporate” and “Ed Muskie: Made in Maine.”


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