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  #101  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:59 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Hmm. I fully understand and use "yeah...no." Perhaps it's just a California-ism that's made its way into my dialect, but it's certainly used and understood around here.
The episode on "yeah, no" from the wonderful podcast Lexicon Valley (hosted by Slate).
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  #102  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:26 AM
Moriarty Moriarty is offline
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I haven't see it mentioned yet that Brit's use "holiday" to describe what Americans call "vacation". In the UK, you go on holiday. In the U.S., you go on vacation.

There's also boot v. trunk, flat v. apartment, lift v. elevator, torch v. flashlight, bumbershoot v. umbrella, crisps v. chips, and chips v. fries.
...

My father grew up in Florida in the 50's and would occasionally refer to the microwave as the "radar". I also believe that the freezer is called the "ice box" in certain places.

Oh, and a water fountain isn't a water fountain depending on where in America you're from (it's a "bubbler" in the Northeast, I believe).
  #103  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:36 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Obvious differences in vocabulary don't seem to me to be the kind of "subtle" dialectical differences the OP is asking about.
  #104  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:48 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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How about "taking a piss" vs "taking the piss" (UK, meaning something like "mocking, parodying, making fun of, etc.") Don't know if it quite qualifies as subtle, as you'd encounter them in very different contexts.

Another one is "Japs." From what I can tell, the word seems innocuous in at least Hiberno- and British-English (there's still a Japfest for Japanese automobiles across the pond), but it's offensive in US English.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 11:49 AM.
  #105  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:49 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Originally Posted by zimaane View Post
You are correct, the work is auxiliary. My misspelling reflects the American pronunciation. I think in Britain the final 'i' is pronounced.
Curious. I am American and I say aux-il-yary.

On the use of the article in such phrases as "in hospital", one curiosity I've noticed is that we say "He is away at college", but "He is away at the university". This is so idiosyncratic that I doubt there could be any principled explanation.

One difference that I have noticed is that Brits say "different to" while we USAns say "different from" or even (though my inner grammar nazi shudders) "different than".

Canadians also say "in hospital" and "at university", but say "different from".
  #106  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:50 AM
Moriarty Moriarty is offline
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Obvious differences in vocabulary don't seem to me to be the kind of "subtle" dialectical differences the OP is asking about.
How is crisp v. chip obvious?

The OP was based on the premise that some people would use breaking off whereas other would use falling off. Sorry if, by the third page, we weren't still up to that clearly defined parameter of distinction.

Regardless, two people who both speak perfectly good English could be completely confounded by each other due to dialectically differences as subtle as not understanding what the hell a "WC" is and why the other person is so insistent on finding it.
  #107  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:53 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post

One difference that I have noticed is that Brits say "different to" while we USAns say "different from" or even (though my inner grammar nazi shudders) "different than".
Oh, that's a good one. My dialect (and I) typically says "different than," although "different from" is also used. "Different to" is understood but does sound slightly odd to me. I've definitely encountered it before, but I can't remember if it's only from foreign dialects of English or not.
  #108  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:57 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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How is crisp v. chip obvious?

The OP was based on the premise that some people would use breaking off whereas other would use falling off. Sorry if, by the third page, we weren't still up to that clearly defined parameter of distinction.

Regardless, two people who both speak perfectly good English could be completely confounded by each other due to dialectically differences as subtle as not understanding what the hell a "WC" is and why the other person is so insistent on finding it.
While I didn't always answer in that spirit, what I understood the OP to be asking by using the word "subtle" is not so much complete vocabulary differences (like lift vs elevator), but rather small differences in meaning or connotation of words familiar to both speakers. American English speakers surely understand both "breaking off" and "falling off," but to the OP, it seems that UK speakers would be more likely to use the former construction, and US speakers the latter. (I'm not entirely sure whether I agree that that is a distinction, but it may be. I could see myself using either phrase as an American speaker.)
  #109  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:03 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Another subtle one I just thought of is "got" vs "gotten." In American English, "gotten" is often (perhaps mostly) used as the past participle for "to get." In British English, as far as I am aware, only "got" is used, and "gotten" is considered archaic sounding.
  #110  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:28 PM
Moriarty Moriarty is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
While I didn't always answer in that spirit, what I understood the OP to be asking by using the word "subtle" is not so much complete vocabulary differences (like lift vs elevator), but rather small differences in meaning or connotation of words familiar to both speakers. American English speakers surely understand both "breaking off" and "falling off," but to the OP, it seems that UK speakers would be more likely to use the former construction, and US speakers the latter. (I'm not entirely sure whether I agree that that is a distinction, but it may be. I could see myself using either phrase as an American speaker.)
Fair enough. I was caught up with the "in hospital" discussion that I got carried away and wanted to participate.

Cheers

(Does that, qualify? It a greeting that I hear commonly from Aussies. I like it enough that I've picked it up for myself, along with "no worries" instead of "no problem").
  #111  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:39 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Fair enough. I was caught up with the "in hospital" discussion that I got carried away and wanted to participate.

Cheers

(Does that, qualify? It a greeting that I hear commonly from Aussies. I like it enough that I've picked it up for myself, along with "no worries" instead of "no problem").
"Cheers" is interesting. I've seen it used quite a bit in American email correspondences as a complementary close in the last few years, but a couple decades ago, I just knew it from my Aussie family (although I think the British use it commonly, as well.) Also, the usage of "cheers" as a synonym for "thanks" has been catching on a little bit, too. Growing up, "cheers" to me was only said when making a toast.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 12:40 PM.
  #112  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
How is crisp v. chip obvious?

The OP was based on the premise that some people would use breaking off whereas other would use falling off. Sorry if, by the third page, we weren't still up to that clearly defined parameter of distinction.

Regardless, two people who both speak perfectly good English could be completely confounded by each other due to dialectically differences as subtle as not understanding what the hell a "WC" is and why the other person is so insistent on finding it.
The closest W.C. to me is nine miles away and is only open on Sundays and Thursdays.
  #113  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:50 PM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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Hmm. I fully understand and use "yeah...no." Perhaps it's just a California-ism that's made its way into my dialect, but it's certainly used and understood around here.
Maybe? I will say it's not yeah (pause) no. It's almost a single word "yeahno" with the yeah being mostly swallowed and emphasis on no. I used to use it essentially every time I would start a sentence with the word no. Never noticed until it was pointed out repeatedly.
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  #114  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:53 PM
Moriarty Moriarty is offline
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Growing up, "cheers" to me was only said when making a toast.
Same here. But my dad ran a hotel when I was a kid, and I often worked summers at the pool deck. I always enjoyed departing from an Australian guest, who'd give a "cheers, mate" that, to my ears, sounds so much better than the more pedestrian "have a good day" or other nicety. Maybe I'm not alone, and it is catching on amongst more Americans.
  #115  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:17 PM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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The episode on "yeah, no" from the wonderful podcast Lexicon Valley (hosted by Slate).
This was great. Ignore anything I said in the thread. Listen to this instead.
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  #116  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:34 PM
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A few dialectic oddities I noticed upon moving south:

Where I'm from, we said "sick to my stomach" to mean nauseated or vomiting. Down here, they say "sick on my stomach."

Someone upthread mentioned multiple modals, and while I've never heard that phrase, I assume she meant double modals, a term I learned about upon Googling "might could" and "used to could." Down here, where I would use the phrase "be able to," people instead use the world "could." "I used to could touch my toes." "If you leave by seven and traffic's not bad, you might could get there by nine." The articles I found about double modals also state that "might should" and "might would" also exist, but I have yet to hear them in conversation.

"I don't guess." It's hard to pinpoint a one-to-one correspondence between this and a phrase I would use. I think it depends on the context. In some cases, I would use "I guess not," in others "I don't think so." Example: "Have you ever tried a higher dose of Prozac?" "No, I don't guess I have." It sounds odd to me because it sounds like you're saying that you're refraining from guessing, rather than that you're guessing that the answer is a negative. But I suppose you could apply the same logic to "I don't think so."

This one's more a matter of pronunciation, but I've noticed that down here they say "lawyer" as though they are distinctly enunciating the word "law," then appending the syllable "yer." Where I'm from, the syllables elide and you get the same vowel sound as in boil, coin, and boy." "Lawyer" rhymes with "foyer."
  #117  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:58 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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This one's more a matter of pronunciation, but I've noticed that down here they say "lawyer" as though they are distinctly enunciating the word "law," then appending the syllable "yer." Where I'm from, the syllables elide and you get the same vowel sound as in boil, coin, and boy." "Lawyer" rhymes with "foyer."
I thought that foyer was pronounced FOY-yay? Like from French?

I've read that word more often than I've heard it, but in the outro to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," Eric Idle says "By the way, this record is available in the foy-yay."
  #118  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:05 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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In the UK, "bent" can mean "homosexual (not straight). Americans will tell someone they're angry at to "get bent," meaning "get out of here."
I'm American, and I always understood "get bent" to imply that a non-consenting act of sodomy was about to occur.
  #119  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Maggie the Ocelot View Post
I thought that foyer was pronounced FOY-yay? Like from French?

I've read that word more often than I've heard it, but in the outro to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," Eric Idle says "By the way, this record is available in the foy-yay."
Then this joke wouldn't work:

The big chess tournament was taking place at the Plaza in New York. After the first day's competition, many of the winners were sitting around in the foyer of the hotel talking about their matches and bragging about their wonderful play. After a few drinks they started getting louder and louder until finally, the desk clerk couldn't take any more and kicked them out.

The next morning the Manager called the clerk into his office and told him there had been many complaints about his being so rude to the hotel guests....instead of kicking them out, he should have just asked them to be less noisy. The clerk responded, "I'm sorry, but if there's one thing I can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

"foi′ər" is the more common pronunciation in American English.
  #120  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:25 PM
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There's also boot v. trunk, flat v. apartment, lift v. elevator, torch v. flashlight, bumbershoot v. umbrella, crisps v. chips, and chips v. fries.
[Bolding mine]

Uh, from the order you've written the rest of these examples, it looks like you think 'bumbershoot' is a word used in the UK..?
It's not.

Umbrella or, informally, brolly. I don't think I've ever heard the word bumbershoot.
  #121  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:44 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I prefer grape wine myself. Californian wine is a little too close to soylent green for my tastes.

Speaking of California-ism.

When I moved to Pennsylvania I had to work hard to eliminate the phrase "yeah, no." from my speech. Something I said without thinking about it, which was always understood in my native California to mean "I fully understand but disagree" made people quite visibly angry with me out here.

"did you just say yes no? Which is it?" was a common response. Followed by much eye rolling and exasperated sighing. Occasionally arm flapping. Pissed people right off.
Yeah, no...
  #122  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:26 PM
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It's "foy-yay" in Canada: British and French influence.
  #123  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:29 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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But in French it would be [fwa je] ("fwah-yay"), I believe.

But yeah in the U.S., it's usually pronounced as spelled.
  #124  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:45 PM
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This was great. Ignore anything I said in the thread. Listen to this instead.
Yes, the Lexicon Valley podcast is outstanding, and you should all check it out! Older episodes, pre-McWhorter, have more of a focus on slang and dialect -- the new host, McWhorter, is an academic linguist, so he'll be happy to talk for 45 minutes about the conjugation of "to be" in various language families.

But it's not like you need to listen to them in order. Want to find out where "shit show, "gringo," or "The Big Apple" came from? Just go back to older episodes.

(McWhorter's great, don't get me wrong -- I just think he's a little less fun than the Garfield/Vuolo/Zimmerman team that was doing the show until last year.)
  #125  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:59 PM
snoe snoe is offline
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But in French it would be [fwa je] ("fwah-yay"), I believe.

But yeah in the U.S., it's usually pronounced as spelled.
1) A bunch of French pronunciation references agree: it's "fwah yay" in French. I had no idea!

2) in my limited experience hearing people say the word in the US, it's at least 50% in favor of "foy yay" as opposed to "foy ur." But I don't spend that much time talking to desk clerks at hotels, receptionists at office buildings, or ... who the hell uses that word regularly, anyway?
  #126  
Old 09-13-2017, 04:48 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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If I were to hear a fellow American pronounce foyer "foy-yay," I would assume they were being facetious, like someone pronouncing the name of the store Target "tar-zhay."
  #127  
Old 09-13-2017, 04:53 PM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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Yes, the Lexicon Valley podcast is outstanding, and you should all check it out! Older episodes, pre-McWhorter, have more of a focus on slang and dialect -- the new host, McWhorter, is an academic linguist, so he'll be happy to talk for 45 minutes about the conjugation of "to be" in various language families.

But it's not like you need to listen to them in order. Want to find out where "shit show, "gringo," or "The Big Apple" came from? Just go back to older episodes.

(McWhorter's great, don't get me wrong -- I just think he's a little less fun than the Garfield/Vuolo/Zimmerman team that was doing the show until last year.)
And it taught me that it's a generational not regional dialect quick. Which I didn't know own could be a thing.

I have rarely had such a feeling of eureka as I had when they played the clips from the slate podcasters and then explained exactly what was going on. It was like "yeah, no, that's exactly what I do! Finally someone gets me!"
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  #128  
Old 09-13-2017, 05:29 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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If I were to hear a fellow American pronounce foyer "foy-yay," I would assume they were being facetious, like someone pronouncing the name of the store Target "tar-zhay."
Growing up, I actually did hear both the "foy-er" and "foy-ay" pronunciation, unironically/unaffectedly. This was well before that type of tongue-in-cheek hipsterism. There was actually a post about it here, and the results are almost dead even, 104 - 101 in favor of "foy-urr." Yes, there's Canadian and UK and other English speakers in there, but it's still mostly going to be US English speakers. (I say "foy-urr," but I started out saying "foy-yay" as that's how I first learned it here in Chicago in school.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 05:30 PM.
  #129  
Old 09-13-2017, 05:35 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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If I were to hear
And, actually, here's another one. I noticed that British English tends not to use this subjunctive construction. There is a difference in American English between "if I was" and "if I were," but I tend not to see the "if I were" construction in British English. It seems like "if I was" has completely replaced it. I may be wrong, but I've definitely noticed it in the Harry Potter books.
  #130  
Old 09-13-2017, 05:52 PM
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Brits seem much more likely to refer to their significant other as "my partner", it seems to me. But for some reason, hearing "my partner" in the U.S. or Canada makes me think that the speaker is deliberately being cagey about the gender of their boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever.
  #131  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:03 PM
Moriarty Moriarty is offline
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[Bolding mine]

Uh, from the order you've written the rest of these examples, it looks like you think 'bumbershoot' is a word used in the UK..?
It's not.

Umbrella or, informally, brolly. I don't think I've ever heard the word bumbershoot.
That will teach me to ever trust my mother-in-law. Who, I should add, has never been to England.

But you do use Nappy instead of Diaper (not that this is relevant to this discussion).

I really should have stayed lurking on this thread, huh?

Last edited by Moriarty; 09-13-2017 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:13 PM
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The US 'in back of' meaning behind is never used in British English so sounds a bit jarring when I read it in a novel. Don't know how common this construction is across the US these days.

Not quite the flavour of the thread but Fire road is an Americanism that has successfully taken root in the mother tongue, and I doubt was ever used pre-1980 or so. We do occasionally have forest fires in some hot years but forestry road would be the English equivalent I guess. Must have arisen from the reach and popularity of US outdoor sports writers and journalists.

The word graft is a strange one, recall asking about it on here previously - very rarely used in the US sense of corruption, although well-read people in the UK would prob recognise this usage. In the UK it sort of means the opposite - hard, honest work.

My Dad has quite gnarly, working man's hands and I remember asking him when I was little what were all the bumps and calluses - that's hard graft son is what that is.

Last edited by Busy Scissors; 09-13-2017 at 06:14 PM.
  #133  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:17 PM
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I just heard a Brit at the pub say "Give us a pint of Guinness."

Using "us" in this manner is very common in the UK and never used like this in NA.
  #134  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:50 PM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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I just heard a Brit at the pub say "Give us a pint of Guinness."

Using "us" in this manner is very common in the UK and never used like this in NA.
I was reading one of those true crime novels about a notorious Liverpool gangster who was under surveillance in Amsterdam in the 80s - one day he was heard arranging to meet his associates in the cafe byus. Dutch police search the A-Z for this cafe but there's not a single place of this name in Holland. Frantically get in touch with the Liverpool police to see if they can shed any light - yes, would that be related to the cafe bymine, or the cafe byours? Basically he was saying the cafe near me.
  #135  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:41 PM
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Brits seem much more likely to refer to their significant other as "my partner", it seems to me. But for some reason, hearing "my partner" in the U.S. or Canada makes me think that the speaker is deliberately being cagey about the gender of their boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever.
In BrE "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" would be considered patronising or diminutive if applied to a mature adult. In your teens and twenties you can have boyfriends and girlfriends but, much beyond that, it can sound odd.

"Partner" is non-specific about gender, but doesn't ring as coy. However it can ring as coy about formal marital status. Your spouse, husband or wife is married to you; your partner may or may not be. Plus, of course, "partner" can be ambiguous; it requires context to say whether it refers to a business partner or to a conjugal partner.

SFAIK in BrE there is no generic term for a non-marital conjugal partner, but in AusE there is: de facto (treated as a noun).
  #136  
Old 09-13-2017, 08:23 PM
Fair Rarity Fair Rarity is offline
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There are some verbs that are easily understandable, but more common in one or the other. Dreamt vs dreamed e.g. My American spell-checkers hate dreamt, but American me prefers that word. It sounds more elegant.

One I don't like and actually matters is the date format. Yesterday was 9/12, September 12th. Yes, I know it makes more sense to do it the other way, but I prefer it written to how I say it. 12 September makes me think there are 12 Septembers. If I do dates internationally, I would call yesterday 2017-09-12. That doesn't bother me or confuse me.

And I have no idea if half 9 means 8:30 or 9:30.
  #137  
Old 09-13-2017, 08:56 PM
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In the UK, "bent" can mean "homosexual (not straight). Americans will tell someone they're angry at to "get bent," meaning "get out of here."
In my world, "get bent" is a lot more hostile than get "out of here". . .prob a lot closer to the UK definition!

mc
  #138  
Old 09-13-2017, 09:16 PM
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There are some verbs that are easily understandable, but more common in one or the other. Dreamt vs dreamed e.g. My American spell-checkers hate dreamt, but American me prefers that word. It sounds more elegant.
......-

And I have no idea if half 9 means 8:30 or 9:30.
Learnt vs. learned is another.

And half 9 means 9:30.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:16 PM
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It's like you guys are purposely trying to ignore the OP's instructions. They're asking for words that STILL MEAN THE SAME THING in both dialects but are only used in one.

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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
My daughter mocks me whenever I tell her to put something up. She holds it over her head. According to her New England dialect, the correct term is to put it away. The two terms mean the same thing in my Southern dialect but I tend to use the former.
I've told this story before, but here goes: In Army basic training, it's a common form of punishment to have to chug your canteen until TPTB tell you to stop. Some soldiers will try to cheat by only sipping it slowly, and hoping not to be noticed in the crowd of 100 recruits.

So we're being forced to drink after some screw-up or another (not filing into the chow hall in the correct sequence, I believe), and after a while, the drill sergeants are yelling "Put 'em up! Put 'em up!"

Half of us stopped drinking and reholstered the canteens. The other half (including me), unfamiliar with this expression, kept raising the bottle higher and higher until we're practically under a waterfall and choking on the stream. Everyone, drill sergeants and recruits, was...confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Pittsburg
h.
  #140  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:02 PM
wolfman wolfman is online now
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I don't know if it's a personal quirk or an Indian English expression but one of the guys I work with acknowledges a new fact with a very simple "Oh is it?" The meaning is clear, and the logic is obvious, but it's not a construction I find at all familiar.

Just an occasion like he will mention that he is going down three floors to the vending machine, and I will say that there is a vending machine machine on this floor, hidden around the corner behind the receptionist, or letting him know we are hiring a new tester, he says "Oh is it?"
  #141  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:04 PM
wolfman wolfman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Learnt vs. learned is another.

And half 9 means 9:30.
Bottom of the hour is even more confusing for people who don't think in terms of a clock face very often.
  #142  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:14 PM
wolfman wolfman is online now
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Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
I don't know if it's a personal quirk or an Indian English expression but one of the guys I work with acknowledges a new fact with a very simple "Oh is it?" The meaning is clear, and the logic is obvious, but it's not a construction I find at all familiar.

Just an occasion like he will mention that he is going down three floors to the vending machine, and I will say that there is a vending machine machine on this floor, hidden around the corner behind the receptionist, or letting him know we are hiring a new tester, he says "Oh is it?"
I explained that badly. The phrase is commonly used obviously, but in respect to a specific object that is the topic of the conversion.

Like
"That new building is going to be 100 stories tall"
"Oh is it?"

or
"That desk is made of recycled toenails"
"Oh is it?"

are common. Using "it" to refer to the general state or situation described in a statement is a different, unfamiliar usage.
  #143  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:32 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Quote:
Quote:
Pittsburg
h.
Not the one in California.
  #144  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:03 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
Not the one in California.
John Mace was referring to the one in Pennsylvania. That one gets an "h" at the end of it.
  #145  
Old 09-14-2017, 01:56 AM
jerez jerez is offline
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In the UK and other parts, "should" can be used as a conditional, which is pretty much restricted to obligation in the US. For example, to express an opinion, some people say: "I should think that..."

About "quite," I think it sometimes implies a lesser degree than "very" when the two are used together.
One person: "What about (x)?"
Another: "It's very good."
One person: "What about (y)?"
Another: Well, it's quite good, but..."
Otherwise, without the contrast, they're interchangeable.

Years ago, I heard someone from the UK say "sideboards" instead of "sideburns." Haven't come across that since.

A friend from Ireland has a peculiar way of ending all of our phone conversations. When it becomes obvious that we're drawing to a close, he'll start to say things like, "Well, nice talking to you," "I gotta run," "Talk to you soon," etc., but he'll accelerate the speed and pitch of his delivery in an uninterrupted stream until he hangs up ("rings off" in UK). It was unsettling the first time I heard it, because it sounded like he was having to deal with something urgent and unexpected.

Someone upthread mentioned "have" (present perfect tense), and I agree that it's an important UK/US difference when describing a recent event that affects the present.
"I can't get in because I've lost my keys" (UK).
"I can't get in because I lost my keys" (US).
  #146  
Old 09-14-2017, 02:48 AM
Filbert Filbert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
I explained that badly. The phrase is commonly used obviously, but in respect to a specific object that is the topic of the conversion.

Like
"That new building is going to be 100 stories tall"
"Oh is it?"

or
"That desk is made of recycled toenails"
"Oh is it?"

are common. Using "it" to refer to the general state or situation described in a statement is a different, unfamiliar usage.
I had a workmate in Bristol (who was very local, and frankly one of those people who was very proud of being English because he had nothing else whatever to be proud of, definitely not Indian) who used to do that. "I went to XX at the weekend." "Oh, is it?"

Pretty sure it's a local thing there as well, if not a very common one.
  #147  
Old 09-14-2017, 06:31 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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I finally figured out what quite means to me.

If you just say, for example, "it's chilly today," that could mean a wide range of temperatures -- let's call it from "0% chilly" to "100% chilly."

If you say "it's quite chilly today," that restricts the range -- at both ends. For me, this puts it around the 60% to 80% range. So, yes, it is an "intensifier," in that you're saying it will be chillier than your average chilly day -- BUT you're also saying it WON'T be horrendously chilly (and that's why "quite" can sometimes be used to damn with faint praise.)

Oh, and sloe's mini-review of Lexicon Valley is spot-on. I adore John McWhorter (as longtime Dopers know), but sometimes I miss the banter of those other guys.
__________________
"All he really 'knew', he said, was the extent of his own ignorance. (This to me is still the definition of an educated person.)" -- Christopher Hitchens
  #148  
Old 09-14-2017, 06:38 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Pittsburg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
h.
I have a small satin/velour covered box that contains a tie tack, from a jewelery store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The spelling helps date the box to a period of time when the "h" wasn't used (pre-1911).


Cite
  #149  
Old 09-14-2017, 08:29 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is online now
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As a young man, I was acutely aware of language differences because I was linguistically marked as an outsider. I also had to learn the separate rules on talking to young women because I had no experience with that. So it was interesting to observe that the young men and women I knew were "two countries separated by a common language".

I don't remember any of that now, except the discussion about the meaning of the word "Sheila", a traditional Australian colloquialism described elsewhere as a word a women would "never use about herself". Because to the blokes I knew, it was a value-neutral term: to the young women, it was a derogatory term.
  #150  
Old 09-14-2017, 09:47 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
...
the discussion about the meaning of the word "Sheila", a traditional Australian colloquialism described elsewhere as a word a women would "never use about herself". Because to the blokes I knew, it was a value-neutral term: to the young women, it was a derogatory term.
There's a lot of that kind of thing in most English-speaking societies. Maybe in other languages too, but I'm not qualified on that.

Something about young men valuing young women for something other than what young women value themselves for.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-14-2017 at 09:48 AM.
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