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Forums > Social Discussion > Two nations seperated by a common language

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Well, I'm still recuperating a bit from my trip, but it was loads of fun! But this isn't really about that, so much as my amusement at occasional inabilities of americans and brits to communicate.

Hardest word for me to change back now that I'm here: Trainers
Hardest word for me to change to when i was there: Trousers
Most fun word: Fancy
Hardest word for me to understand in conversation: Bins
Hardest phrase: Have a go


And no, I don't know why i tripped over have a(nother) go so often. I realize it makes perfect logical sense.

So what do people like better/worse about british/american english?

And does anyone have any good communication stories?

I think my favourite was when i asked drew "Can all pants be called trousers?"

-Kbug

PS I promise to be a lot less shy next time!


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:American is not so much a language as it is a way of saying and spelling things wrong.

wink


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I like the way Brits use the language...usually. It's rather artful sometimes.

Other times, though...

"Bin" is probably the toughest word out there. It sounds like "Bean" or "been."

I like the use of the word "mind," rather than "watch." "Mind the doors" or "Mind the car!"

I don't call them trainers, they're sneakers.

In general, I use a lot of Britishisms...but there are a few Americanisms that are just indespensible.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I tripped over the word 'randy' rather seriously when I first went to the USA.



A smiling chap walked up and said to me "Hi, I'm Randy"

I naturally said, "Well, what do you expect me to do about it!"



Well, you wouldn't expect someone to actually name their son that, would you!!!!



ps in our quaint dialect...it means horny


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:It's a nickname for "Randall!"

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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roarfire
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside

Total posts: 2676
Posted:Haha. I had similar arguments with two new zealand boys about the words



Sex, six, sixty, sexy.



They say sex like sux and then they made fun of us because we sound like we're saying six when we're saying sex or something to that affect....and so that argument went on for a while but we all just gave up.



Carry on...


.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:ubblol ubblol ubblol
NZ now that's another story!!!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:Random reminds me of London

"Thats pants" as in thats crap makes me laugh too

Bless is another one that says UK to me.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:my favorite american - english bit if confusion is the word fanny.

My friend brought me back a newspaper from florida a few years ago with a story about a man that had been bitten on the fanny by a shark.

That makes so little sense over here!


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Lemonkey


Lemonkey

Stalking amidst the desert, carrying an oversized scalpel...
Location: Huddersfield + Hull Uni... UK.

Total posts: 1019
Posted:The word that infuriates me the most is "Aluminum". It's Alumin i um. There's an extra i!

I also hate the fact everything that IUPAC had to change Sulphur to Sulfur for the yanks. Why not change Phosphorus too? rolleyes


Written by: Seye
a man that had been bitten on the fanny by a shark.




0_o


Willy - is bad for your health...

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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House

Total posts: 1286
Posted:aaah the joy of americanisms, when a fannypack isnt a female contraceptive (;)) and you wear your pants over your underwear (no wonder superman got confused!), where you say color, i say it correctly tongue (coloUr), and the innernet is available to all (internet). where chips come as salt and vinegar, cheese and onion or salted, and biscuits are what you have with a roast, where a 5 minute walk, becomes a 2 minute car ride, and everyone sues each other when one of them drops a pencil!

aah the land of freedom, gotta love it lol

Do americans use the word Fart??


Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Now now, that's enough Yankeebashing! (Too easy a target wink ) though yes, a fanny pack.. hmmmm
This is surely two way in terms of the sillies...
As in UK, where a fine day means it anything that isn't actually pissing down (could be overcast windly and freezing...), tea means a solid meal, and a public school is one where the 'right sort' pay a fortune to get away from the public!

But possibly my favourite Brittism was British Rails laconic motto, the very opposite of gung ho self promotion...
"we're getting there"...


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:Written by: Lemonkey

The word that infuriates me the most is "Aluminum". It's Alumin i um. There's an extra i!




actually aluminum came along first, but didn't fit the -ium ending of most chemicals at the time, and so had the 'i' inserted..

sorry
redface


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:and let's not forget "fag."

taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:And I always had a sneaking regard for that Little Dutch Boy who saved the day by putting his finger in the dyke....

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Written by: blueboy

and let's not forget "fag."


Yeah actually - for the benefit of all of you in the US a fag is something you smoke, not a description of sexual preference.
And while we're on the subject; any scousers out there - a 'tab' is most definitely NOT something you smoke and, more to the point, is not something you should ask random strangers for in the street. (weirdo's)


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Written by: Seye

for the benefit of all of you in the US a fag is something you smoke, not a description of sexual preference.




The US version just might have derived from the Brit Public School (ref. to my earlier post on this one!) tradition of younger boys being a sort of all-purpose servant to the older ones... rugger always having been a type of rhyming slang you understand.... wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:I get confused by American directions. You "make" the corner, you "make" the square... What???

Southern (north) American accents annoy the hell out of me. Sorry, but they do.

About the English though, I'm still confused about "Public" and "Private" schools. Aren't "Private" ones the ones that most people go to? And "Public" ones the ones you pay 10,000 quid a year to attend? Does that make sense?

Missile. It's not "Miss-il" It's "Mis eye el" and it's "Eek on oh me" not "Eh con oh me" (economy). Damn all languages, they just confuse people!

Newgabe:
"rugger always having been a type of rhyming slang you understand.... "

Blackadder, anyone? biggrin


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Sethis, you're talking about southerners...

You don't make a corner. You make a right. Or you take a right. Or you hang a right. You turn a corner. Everyone knows that.

It is "Eeconomy," I agree...but it's "mob-il" and "miss-il". You guys keep adding these "aisles" on to the ends of words.

And would you guys PLEASE stop calling the TV a "telly?" It sounds like a character on a kids' show or something.

And it's acetaminophen, not paracetamol. It's albuterol, not salbutemol. One day someone's going to confuse salbutemol for salmeterol and then that'll mess up a patient real good. Where do you guys get these nutty ideas about medicine names?

For that matter, it's "RESP-ir-atory," not "resp-EER-atory". I spent my first week at work in the UK figuring what the hell the doctors were talking about. Between that and their "beetas" (betas) and am-aye-no acids (am-EE-no acids, silly limeys!) I spent the time wondering if they really did speak the same language... wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:A good loud cry of "B*llocks" apparently confuses the whole world except for the British.



"Knackered" is something else that seems to need explaination.



Tally-ho, keep it up, old bean, and knock 'em for six.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Wait... I'm not done.

You limeys have the craziest notions about spelling.

Now, one would imagine that a word pronounced "cent-er" would be spelled that way. It would be silly to spell it "centre" because then it would be "cent-rey," right? Apparently this makes perfect sense to the brits, though. The "r" is pronounced on the end of the word, so it ought to go there. Then again, when did the Brits ever pronounce their final R's?

Furthermore, you guys keep on throwing random vowels into words. Whether it's flavour or honour (do you pronounce the "u"? No? Why's it there, then?) or some REALLY random ones like foetal (foh-tal? I say fetal, like it's spelled) or coeliac (koh-lee-ac?). When two vowels go a-walking, the first one does the talking, folks. What are these o's and a's doing in there? Encylopaedia? What????


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Mike, it's simply to confuse outsiders and make it hard for speakers of other languages.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Oh. That's OK, then. tongue

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Yep, our spelling's nuts, but that's what you get when you spend ages getting invaded by people and taking their language, then trying to squash it all into one.

Actually, I'm going to correct myself, it's not nuts - it's eccentric wink



Written by: Doc Lightning


*snip* Furthermore, you guys keep on throwing random vowels into words. Whether it's flavour or honour (do you pronounce the "u"? No? Why's it there, then?) *snip*





I pronounce the the extra u - otherwise I'd be pronouncing honour as 'on-or', the extra u makes it sound somewhere between 'on-er' and 'on-ah'. Hard to describe exactly what I mean just with text though.



The changing of how sulphur is spelled is one that really annoys me... why bother with just that word and not change every instance of a ph sounding like an f?

Also, given that the people who would regularly have to write the word are going to be chemists, people not known for their low IQs and who could certainly remember the spelling, I've never really understood why it needed changing. It's not a hard rule to remember after all.



*shrugs* too late now though I suppose, although since I'm not longer at uni and no-one's marking what I write, I can spell it how I like smile

EDITED_BY: TheBovrilMonkey (1123041219)


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted:Doc: The word centre comes from the French. The Brits simply took the word and amalgamated it into their language, spelling and all. A lot of scientific terms come from Latin and the Romans were the type of people who put vowels in everywhere.

What about words like "knock" where you have a silent 'k'? In the ancient Anglo-Saxon you actually did pronounce the K so I guess that the shortening of words will continue.

Oh, and I'm Canadian so I get to laugh at you all!!!


Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning


For that matter, it's "RESP-ir-atory," not "resp-EER-atory". I spent my first week at work in the UK figuring what the hell the doctors were talking about. Between that and their "beetas" (betas) and am-aye-no acids (am-EE-no acids, silly limeys!) I spent the time wondering if they really did speak the same language... wink



um.

i've always heard am-ee-no, not am-aye-no. and three years in a lab does qualify me to know this one. where were you to get that from?
and 'e' is pronounced 'ee' so 'beta' makes perfect sense, if not historical sense.

R


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Written by: onefinalstep

Oh, and I'm Canadian so I get to laugh at you all!!!



I think you might have got this the wrong way around...

*pokes OFS with a stick trying to make him say "about" properly*
wink


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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DarthMeaux


The artist formerly known as Phae'xorl.
Location: South-East Ohio (the foothills...

Total posts: 145
Posted:I love how a Pharmacy/drugstore becomes a "chemist"....sounds waaay cooler.

....among others...


"...heaven is ordering a six piece chicken nugget and getting seven...and a switchblade."

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Written by: Phae'xorl


I love how a Pharmacy/drugstore becomes a "chemist"....sounds waaay cooler.



What do you mean 'becomes'?



Chemist comes from 'alchemist' which is from the middle ages. I have no idea why people in the states adopted the french word 'pharmacy' instead.



I would like to point out that there is no general concensus on how the English language should sound in this country. Newcastle has geordie (pretty much a different language!), Liverpool has scouse (again so many different words), East London (and only a small part of it really) has cockney and there are more. In fact I'd say that English is probably one of the least consistant languages in the world.



As for medical and scientific terms - we use (most of the time) the standard latin words (ok so paraffin should actually be kerosene - i'll let you have that one). When I was studying chemistry every time we came to a term that didnt fit with the standard latin forms we were always told it was because it was discovered by an american lab!

(an element called americium - honestly) wink



Doc - I thought paracetomol was the generic term for the drug? (goes to find MIMS book...)


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DarthMeaux


The artist formerly known as Phae'xorl.
Location: South-East Ohio (the foothills...

Total posts: 145
Posted:Written by: Seye

Chemist comes from 'alchemist' which is from the middle ages. I have no idea why people in the states adopted the french word 'pharmacy' instead.
(goes to find MIMS book...)



Me either, "chemist" makes more sense and as I previously stated, sounds waaay cooler. Perhaps I should have phrased my statement the other way around...I don't like how chemist becomes pharmacy.


"...heaven is ordering a six piece chicken nugget and getting seven...and a switchblade."

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted:Written by: Durbs

*pokes OFS with a stick trying to make him say "about" properly*
wink



Unfortunately until last year I'd lived in Glasgow for 8 years (I moved over when I was 6 and lived in both St Andrews and Ipswich for a while) so the accent is only ever used if family come over to visit. I now have a weegie accent (probably worse). And anyway in Toronto we don't really say "aboot"... damn!!!!!


Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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