Language Quirks

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Language Quirks

Postby H » Tue May 14, 2019 8:59 am

Came across some UK-US differences with a few lacking in definition...

Writer's entry:
Broil
In America, broiling your food refers to exposing it to direct, intense heat. To Brits, this same act is typically called “grilling.” You can see where the confusion lies.
Example: “For dinner tonight, I think I’ll broil some salmon.”


Not from my over half-century of U.S. usage:
if I broil it, it sits in water (usually to drain off oils/grease) — which would douse a grille
(allowing the water to evaporate and sear meat is also called char-broilling).
if I boil it, however, it's drowned in water (such as my corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner).


Writer's entry:
Normalcy
Though there is an equivalent term in the U.K., the suffix here is what’s different. The British use “normality” instead of “normalcy,” and they consider the latter Americans’ a strange alternative.
Example: “After so much upheaval in my life, I just want a bit of normalcy.”


Oops, how un-American of me — in this case my normalcy would be normality... as a normality, antway.
An equivelent term? Both words are current in an American English dictionary.


Writer's entry:
Arugula
According to Food&Wine magazine, southern Italian immigrants to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries gave Americans the word “arugula” to describe this leafy green. However, you won’t find the word on menus in the U.K., where “rocket” (derived from the French “roquette”) is used in its place.
Example: “Could you add a bit of arugula into the salad?”


I could but normally wouln't. However, there are many from other origins in our mix, including native members; even when starting as English colonies we had our own specifics — care to cook up some English muffins in your wigwam?

Writer's entry:
Backhoe
To Americans, a backhoe is an excavating machine consisting of a digging bucket at the end of a two-part articulated arm that is typically used to move large amounts of material, like soil or rock. But if you utter this word in the U.K., don’t be surprised if people are left scratching their heads. According to Brits, one should call a digging device “a digger.” (Come to think of it, they may be on to something…)
Example: “We’re going to use a backhoe to excavate the construction site.”


Yes, dear writer, they may be onto something because yours is not a complete definition for this American. On our farm a backhoe was a digging unit that pulled towards the control vehicle. If the digging operation was away from the control vehicle, effectively moving forward, it was not a backhoe.

Sidewalk
Any American knows a sidewalk is a paved area alongside a stretch of road for pedestrians. However, in the U.K., “sidewalk” means, well, nothing. As far as Brits are concerned, this area is called “a pavement.”
Example: “In New York City, you’ll get plenty of dirty looks for riding your bike on the sidewalk.”


Dirt, gravel, stone and brick gave way to primarily asphalt roads and, most often, cement walkways. Often road and walkway (yes, another less specific term) are both covered by pavement and there are vast miles of paved roads with no such accompanying walkways; more often we speak of the road/street 'pavement' while, somewhat more often, of the walkways with their material composition; a sideroad has another meaning, so the U.S. road's/street's companion is a sidewalk.


8-)
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby emraeshine » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:42 am

Here are a few US-UK language/grammatical differences I've noticed after meeting British folks while traveling (I'm from the states):

1. Mum (UK) vs. Mom (American/Canadian English)
2. Colour (UK) vs. Color (American/Canadian English)
3. Holiday (UK) vs. Vacation (American/Canadian English)
4. Bonnet (UK; as in the BONNET of a car https://www.crosswordsolver.com/clue/BONNET) vs. HOOD of a car (American/Canadian English https://www.crosswordsolver.com/word/info/HOOD)
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Dave T » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:18 am

:lol:
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Tleilaxian » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:25 am

emraeshine wrote:Here are a few US-UK language/grammatical differences I've noticed after meeting British folks while traveling (I'm from the states):

1. Mum (UK) vs. Mom (American/Canadian English)


Not for nothing, but: a lot of times when we hear Brits say "mum" what they're actually saying is "ma'am". Just a different pronunciation, not at all a different word. You know ... like tomatoes; tomatoes. Hmm ... maybe that loses something in print.
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Dilvish » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:01 pm

Writer's entry:
Broil
In America, broiling your food refers to exposing it to direct, intense heat. To Brits, this same act is typically called “grilling.” You can see where the confusion lies.
Example: “For dinner tonight, I think I’ll broil some salmon.”

Not from my over half-century of U.S. usage:
if I broil it, it sits in water (usually to drain off oils/grease) — which would douse a grille
(allowing the water to evaporate and sear meat is also called char-broilling).
if I boil it, however, it's drowned in water (such as my corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner).


As far as I am aware, and I am far from being a "chef", the American use or "broil" is cooking in an oven, using the heating elements on the top of the cooking area, vs the usual bottom elements. The upper elements are normally left on the entire cooking time, unlike using the bottom elements that are used to maintain a specific heat inside the oven's cooking area.
Cooking with water is called "poaching", like as in a "Poached Egg for breakfast", where the egg is broken into boiling water.
"Grilling", in the US, normally indicates cooking over fire on a grate, so the heat from the flames directly impacts the food, where cooking on a gas stove, which also uses flame, the food is contained within a pan, so the heat from the flames doesn't directly impact the actual food, and can be adjusted up or down to cook faster or slower. Only on gas fueled grills, normally used outside only, can the flame be adjusted. Originally in the US, grilling is done with charcoal, which, IMO, is the ONLY correct method. :D

Just me, though
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby 511Flyer » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:22 am

The UK and the USA are said to be "two nations separated by a common language"

Mum is a form of Mother. Ma'am is short for Madam. The only time I've used it, was for female officers in the service. Also used to address the Queen, who I've never met.

I've holidayed/vacationed in the USA, and not found the language to be a problem, but the banknotes were confusing, Same size, same colour/color. In the UK banknotes are different sizes and different colours. Wells Fargo cashiers/tellers, were very interested in them. Thought it was a much better system.

One big surprise to our hosts, is that we eat Peas with Fish and Chips. Mushy Peas? they'd never heard of them.

All in all, we had a great time. We loved Arizona, even though they can legally wear firearms.

By the way, I'm not English, I'm Welsh. That's something else they couldn't understand. The UK is four different countries? It sure is pal!

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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Dilvish » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:22 pm

I worked for a year with an installation team for the Aerostat I worked on. We understood each other, mostly, but some things just never translated from English to American.

Things like biscuits, half eight, flat, lift, etc. We just never changed what we used for that stuff, and they wouldn't either.
The worst was the ACCENTS, though. Early on we had a guy from South London, a guy from North Carolina, and a Welshman, all trying to communicate on an intercom system. 90% of what anyone listening heard was "Huh??" from two out of the three. One would say something, and the other two would say "HUH??". Hilarious to listen to, and to watch what they were trying to accomplish. :lol:
That leaves out the Jamaican, who seemed to place the word F*&^ every other word in his sentences. His accent was bad enough, but trying to pick out what he was actually saying through the storm of F bombs was nearly impossible.

Overall, we got the job done, but at first communication among the installation, and between the team and the American workers, was absolutely hilarious to listen to. Not so funny when trying to DO something, like fly the Aerostat, though.

By the way, darn right us Zonies could, and often DID carry firearms. I owned 2.5 acres near both the California and Mexican borders. That little corner of Arizona where all three come together. Like lest than 1/8th of a mile from both borders, and I had a constant stream of illegal aliens flowing through my property. To add to the fun, the property next door to mine had the biggest chop shop in Arizona, as well as a huge dog fighting setup. I couldn't walk out my front door without at the very least a sidearm, often both a long arm AND a sidearm.
That ability, to protect my self and my family, as well as my show rabbits, saved us a number of times, much to the anger of the neighbors, not to mention the illegals that I turned into local law enforcement. Many of whom spoke Middle Eastern languages, NOT Mexican.
So yeah, I was very grateful our Constitution permitted me to carry a firearm. Without them, me, my family, and our pets, would have become victims very quickly. Call it Wild West, Uncivilized, whatever you want, but I'm still around, despite the criminals next door. The Police/sheriff's deputies were at least 30 minutes away. Totally useless to protect us.

Great guys, the installation team, though. I liked them all...
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Sprocket » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:42 am

.....
Compounded also by the "mis-hearing" of words in song lyrics:

Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7my5baoCVv8&t=4s

:?:
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby B0ikat » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:21 am

Mis-heard lyrics:

"Blitzkrieg Bop" = Let's kick butt..

"Space trucking" = Space monkeys...

There's scads more that I can't recall off the top of my head. :P
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby Dilvish » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:21 pm

One of the more famous: "There's a bad moon on the rise"= "There's a bathroom on the right"
It became so prevalent, the artist would sing the incorrect lyrics just to make the crowd laugh. Works good too :lol:

And then the famous "Louie, Louie"= ????
No one really has any idea what the heck they were singing. The artists never talked either. Total mystery to this day. Even the FBI couldn't figure it out, and they did try. :?:

Have fun all!
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Re: Language Quirks

Postby SpaceHippy1975 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:55 am

As for misheard lyrics......

When I was a young lad years ago, I used to sing "Stand in the river" by Adam & the Ants. It wasn't until years later I learned that it was actually "Stand and Deliver"! Doh! :oops:

My excuse (& I still use it to this day) is, well I am deaf! Lol!!

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