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  1. #1
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    Default Divided by a common language

    After the 'how to prepare for a liveaboard lifestyle' thread, I read this - amusing glimpse at the 'cultural divide'!

    http://www.pbo.co.uk/news/430408/yac...ommon-language

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    Well as one who is married to one of our delightful colonial cousins I can understand fully, but that little article hardly scratched the surface. After 22 years I'm (almost) bi-lingual but I still have some difficulty with the subleties when the extra factor of gender is added in.
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin View Post
    Well as one who is married to one of our delightful colonial cousins I can understand fully, but that little article hardly scratched the surface. After 22 years I'm (almost) bi-lingual but I still have some difficulty with the subleties when the extra factor of gender is added in.
    OK, here's a serious question to which I haven't been able to find an answer.

    Our american friends pronounce "buoy" as boo-ey. Fine, no problem. But how to they pronounce "buoyancy"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbister View Post
    OK, here's a serious question to which I haven't been able to find an answer.

    Our american friends pronounce "buoy" as boo-ey. Fine, no problem. But how to they pronounce "buoyancy"?
    I just asked and it came out same as us, 'ish.

    The guys in the big yellow pointy hard hats and carrying axes that arrived on the 'firetruck' when we had a minor incident in an 'apartment' over there were wetting themselves when I said I was sorry we had needed to call the fire 'brigade'.
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

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    You may be aware that the American pronunciation boo-ey is much closer to the origin of the word, which is Dutch, boei. So while I have heard American English described as a random collection of deviations from (British) English, in this case they may be quite right.

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    Quick divergence, but it's been bugging me for years. What is it that Americans drink out of jam jars? I frequently see it on US type sitcoms and the like. And why jam jars?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alahol2 View Post
    Quick divergence, but it's been bugging me for years. What is it that Americans drink out of jam jars? I frequently see it on US type sitcoms and the like. And why jam jars?
    My gosh you people are uneducated! Firstly they don't have 'jam' it is 'jelly' or 'preserves' so no jam jars. I think the stuff they are drinking is iced tea, which I personally find revolting. Afficionados can even make it in a jar left out in the sun I believe but since I can't stand the stuff I haven't really followed it too closely.

    'Biscuits' BTW are more like light scones than rolls and are tasty. Mostly a breakfast thing they are served with sausage patties, eggs (minimum 2 of course), bacon and some kind of potato like 'home fries' or 'hash browns'. Now the sausage patties are made from a mix of pork, pork hams and herbs (I really love Jimmy Dean's sage sausage) but 'links' are also available, like small chipolatas with taste. Biscuits and gravy is another mix, but the gravy isn't like OXO mum's or Bisto it is a sort of grey sludge, by which you may rightly assume I don't like it. SWMBO likes to put Schmuckers Jelly on her biscuits, not with gravy of course, that would be 'gross' or 'totally gross' Oh and peanut butter and jelly too sometimes. Weird tastes they have because she doesn't like peanut butter and Marmite though which is delightful.
    Last edited by Robin; 12-11-09 at 09:29.
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

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    Quote Originally Posted by westhinder View Post
    You may be aware that the American pronunciation boo-ey is much closer to the origin of the word, which is Dutch, boei. So while I have heard American English described as a random collection of deviations from (British) English, in this case they may be quite right.
    I was going to comment on the beautiful lines of the yacht depicted in your signature, Westhinder -- presumably yours? -- what an elegant spring in her sheer, and what an attractive, tight little butt (transom) she has, and almost -- really -- used, instead of the word "butt", a perfectly innocent American word starting with "f", when I remembered that this word is quite vulgar in your language . . . whew, caught it just in time.

    Concerning American English being a "collection of deviations" from English English ("British English" is a misnomer; a nonsense phrase -- there is no common version of the English language throughout Britain which includes, after all, Scotland and Wales) -- linguists will tell you that it's more complex than that. Language evolves and changes everywhere, just in different directions and at different speeds. English English is in many respects more evolved and faster evolved than American English, so is a greater deviation from the common roots of both languages. Certain Appalachian Mountain dialects are said to be the closest existing dialects of English to English as spoken in Elizabethan times. Many of our "Americanisms" are old-fashioned relics of the English language of colonial times, which were abandoned in England but have lingered in the former colonies.

    Another comment I, as one who speaks a few European languages, can make is that there is less diversity within the family of English-speakers, and less difference between Yankspeak and English English, than you find in most European languages. In Germany, in particular, you have actual cases where the local dialects of two adjacent villages are not mutually intelligible. Not regions, but villages in the same region, walking distance apart from each other. The differences between American English and English English are exceedingly slight (however funny they may be), compared to the differences among various dialects of German.
    Last edited by Dockhead; 12-11-09 at 12:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
    I was going to comment on the beautiful lines of the yacht depicted in your signature, Westhinder -- presumably yours? -- what an elegant spring in her sheer, and what an attractive, tight little butt (transom) she has, and almost -- really -- used, instead of the word "butt", a perfectly innocent American word starting with "f", when I remembered that this word is quite vulgar in your language . . . whew, caught it just in time.
    n.
    Phew indeed! Thanks we wouldn't want to cock up sweet fanny adams with vulgarity, now would we!

  10. #10
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    According to my Californian other half
    Branston Pickle is actually a relish.
    A purse is a wallet
    A hand bag is a purse
    A shoulder bag (a bottomless pit!) is a bag.
    Corned Beef (yummy) is dog meat!
    Buiscuits are cookies
    Tush is a butt
    Left is right, but right is also right (she doesn't do port and stbd) thank goodness for GPS
    Once thought a hedge hog was a porcupine (I can see the resembalence)
    Curtains are drapes
    And for some reason they always bring something somewhere rather than take it.
    A car is a car, unless of course it's a manual, then it's a stick shift.
    And why is it, that however long she is over here for she never looses the accent.

    Bless her!
    Bob
    The sign of a good engineer is one who washes his hands before he goes to the toilet!!

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