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Old 03-21-2006, 06:41 AM
Ea_calendula Ea_calendula is offline
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British English vs. U.S. English - film vs. movie

When I write English I prefer to stick with one convention of spelling and grammer, and as I learned British English in school I'm using that - even though I sometimes get confused by reading so much U.S. English on the Internet.

Anyway; I'm thouroughly confused over the use of 'movie' vs. 'film' in British English. Is 'film' slightly outmoded or...? Would it be wierd if I used 'movie' instead when everything else is 'English English' (to the best of ability ).

Ea
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:56 AM
hammos1 hammos1 is offline
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'Film' is not outmoded in British English. It's the most common way of referring to a motion picture, IMO.

'Movie' is also used here but has an American English feel to it.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:10 AM
Fromage A Trois Fromage A Trois is offline
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[Huge generalisations ahead]

I find most people in the UK don't use the word "movie". They go to the cinema to watch a film. They might say that they are going to the pictures - quite old-fashioned but still used.

Movie has an American feel, as hammos1 said. I could be wrong, but I think in the US one might go to the theater to watch a movie, whereas in the UK the theatre is where one goes to watch a play.

[end generalisations, sorry about all the italics]
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:25 AM
Ea_calendula Ea_calendula is offline
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Thank you very much!

I'll use 'film' then, from now on.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:34 AM
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I post quite a bit in Cafe Society and have to conciously stop myself from using "film". One thing that I find strange is I do reviews of movies (see) for my work staff magazine. The bit is called - "At the Movies With ...." but whenever the editor asks for one she will say, "Can you give me a 250 word film review by Monday?"
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:27 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I will say that, in the US, both terms are used. However, "film" is used in the more artistic sense: critical reviewers and those looking at film as an art form will use "film." The general public uses "movie" more often.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:39 AM
Dusty Dusty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromage A Trois
I could be wrong, but I think in the US one might go to the theater to watch a movie, whereas in the UK the theatre is where one goes to watch a play.
They're actually called cinemas, and "Cinema" is usually part of their name, but most people refer to them as "movie theatres" (and older people will spell that "theaters"--like "donut"/"doughnut", I don't know when the spelling changed).

Plays are also performed in theatres, but just "theatres", not "movie theatres".

"Film" and "movie" are used interchangably as far as I can tell, drawing some ire from those who think it improper to call movies orginating from video "films". The only other term I've heard used seriously is "picture show", but the person who said it was an ancient woman who probably remembers when silents premiered.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:47 AM
Ea_calendula Ea_calendula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
"Film" and "movie" are used interchangably as far as I can tell, drawing some ire from those who think it improper to call movies orginating from video "films".
So, 'film' is presumably more commonly used in the US than I thought. And btw. it's interesting that the use of calling films originating from video 'films' is being disputed.

Ea
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:26 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
They're actually called cinemas, and "Cinema" is usually part of their name, but most people refer to them as "movie theatres" (and older people will spell that "theaters"--like "donut"/"doughnut", I don't know when the spelling changed).
Is that true? I thought that the "theater" spelling was the usual one in the USA, with the exception of old-fashioned places such as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, but you say that "theatre" is the more modern spelling once again?
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:29 AM
friedo friedo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
Is that true? I thought that the "theater" spelling was the usual one in the USA, with the exception of old-fashioned places such as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, but you say that "theatre" is the more modern spelling once again?
No, it isn't. Dusty is off his rocker, I tell you. Theater is by far the dominant spelling in the US, but many places do have 'Theatre' as part of their name.
  #11  
Old 03-21-2006, 09:33 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
"Film" and "movie" are used interchangably as far as I can tell, drawing some ire from those who think it improper to call movies orginating from video "films".
"Film" and "movie" are somewhat interchangeable, or, at least, there's a huge area of overlap. But I'd say "movie" emphasizes the medium as a form of amusement or entertainment, and "film" emphasizes the medium as a fine art. University level film schools are called that...as in the UCLA Film School, never "movie schools".

Quote:
The only other term I've heard used seriously is "picture show", but the person who said it was an ancient woman who probably remembers when silents premiered.
Not unless she's about 110. The first silent movie theatre opened in 1902, according to what I've read.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:41 AM
Dusty Dusty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
Is that true? I thought that the "theater" spelling was the usual one in the USA, with the exception of old-fashioned places such as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, but you say that "theatre" is the more modern spelling once again?
From what I can see.

I think it started with cinemas calling themselves "Such-and-Such Theatre" in an effort to seem more up-scale. Then others, not to be out done, started doing the same. Eventually, it was the new normal.

That's just my hypothesis. I can only say, among the people whose writings I read, the skew tends to be as I said: this generation spelling it "-re" to match the signs, older ones spelling it "-er" to match... I don't know.

But maybe I'm crazy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Not unless she's about 110. The first silent movie theatre opened in 1902, according to what I've read.
I was joking, She was probably in her 80s.
  #13  
Old 03-21-2006, 12:09 PM
even sven even sven is offline
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As a film student, I got marked down on my essays for using "movie" instead of "film". None the less, I use "movie" because it makes more sense in the world of digital video. I feel like using "film" for DV projects relegates them to a space of "imitation film" and doesn't give them the dignity they deserve. I feel like the academic insistence of the word "film" is indicative of the insecurity-formed elitism found in a department that is desperate to prove itself as a "real" area of study, as well as the fetishistic attitudes many movie pros have to doing things the old way.
  #14  
Old 03-21-2006, 12:59 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromage A Trois
I find most people in the UK don't use the word "movie". They go to the cinema to watch a film. ...in the US one might go to the theater to watch a movie, whereas in the UK the theatre is where one goes to watch a play.
Of course, the theatre and the cinema can be one and the same place, just depending on what's on that evening
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:03 PM
Ea_calendula Ea_calendula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven
... None the less, I use "movie" because it makes more sense in the world of digital video. I feel like using "film" for DV projects relegates them to a space of "imitation film" and doesn't give them the dignity they deserve. I feel like the academic insistence of the word "film" is indicative of the insecurity-formed elitism found in a department that is desperate to prove itself as a "real" area of study, as well as the fetishistic attitudes many movie pros have to doing things the old way.
I hadn't thought I'd eventually start a discussion about this, but it's interesting. I must admit I've never thought about it that way. To me, the story telling and the pictures/cinematography matters a whole lot more than whether it's DV or film, but I guess it matters more for those who know about the differences.

BTW even sven; if you were writing in British English, would you still use 'movie'? (to prove a point maybe - and I can understand if you'd want to )
  #16  
Old 03-21-2006, 01:04 PM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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You'll see 'movie' in some publications, often by people who move in Hollywood circles, but not in peoples' general conversation. Less still will you hear 'motion picture'.
  #17  
Old 03-22-2006, 01:30 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
They're actually called cinemas, and "Cinema" is usually part of their name, but most people refer to them as "movie theatres" (and older people will spell that "theaters"--like "donut"/"doughnut", I don't know when the spelling changed).

.
I never knew that using 'theater' or 'theatre' was an age-related thing, or if it were, I'd have expected the younger people to spell it the first way. I thought rather that 'theatre' is how theaters like to spell it in their signage, sort of like the way that Krispy Kreme uses the "doughnut" spelling even though hardly anyone else does.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:37 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven
As a film student, I got marked down on my essays for using "movie" instead of "film". None the less, I use "movie" because it makes more sense in the world of digital video .
In a similar vein, maybe you can help me get everyone to stop calling instrumental pieces "songs"--but I fear that battle is long lost.
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:01 PM
JKilez JKilez is offline
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I did not realize that movie was a provincial term. How about "flick?" Is that commonly used outside of the US?
  #20  
Old 03-22-2006, 03:10 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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"The flicks" is used here in England, albeit in a slightly archaic sense.

When I was a kid we had "Saturday morning flicks" at the Odeon Cinema in Aldershot - this was something of a tradition: a load of short (and ancient - Champion the Wonder Horse, the Three Stooges, The Lone Ranger) films cobbled together that parents could leave their kids at for three hours or so while they went shopping. This was the mid-seventies, and the phenomenon was on its last legs.

(God, that was mayhem. Lolly sticks at the screen during the Stooges. Racing each other round the aisles. Clambering up and down the seats. I even recall the police arriving once to drag a sugar, tartrazine and caffeine-filled five-year-old out because the staff just couldn't cope with his one-child riot zone.)
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:20 PM
seosamh seosamh is offline
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I still go to "the pictures" myself! My local as a lad was the truly wondrous Gaumont State on Kilburn High Road - now sadly a bingo hall.

I prefer the word "film", though, and have never knowingly uttered the word "movie" in my life - neither have I uttered the word "talkie": this isn't the 1890s, you know.

My mate Dave always uses the word "movie" but he was in the business (well, his job was to acquire the rights to films for a UK TV channel, which I suppose is near enough).
  #22  
Old 09-15-2017, 04:51 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Movie or film in the UK is fine. Not fill-um though, that marks you as a North Englander and you don't want that. (Just kidding, guys, I love people from the North Country.)
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:08 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Along those lines, do people nowadays use their phone's video mode to "tape" someone? I don't usually hear it called "filming".
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:18 AM
Orwell Orwell is offline
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While "cinema", "film" and "theatre" are certainly understood in the US, I never hear regular people actually using those terms. They go to the theater to see a movie, and watch movies on a TV or laptop. Many places where live plays are performed are called theatres, but movie theaters should not be spelled that way.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:01 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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The "theatre" spelling is nonstandard in American English. It's used in some proper names to give an ersatz sense of elegance to the establishment, because to many Americans, British English is viewed as higher class than American English. It's not uncommon on both movie theaters and live performance theaters. The same thing is done with other words that are spelled differently in BrE vs. AmE. For example, in San Francisco there are two shopping malls called "North Point Centre" and "Westfield San Francisco Centre", and an assisted living facility called "Bay Harbour Care Home".
  #26  
Old 09-15-2017, 12:06 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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If it's about Zombies, it's a movie. If it's about social injustice, it's a film.
  #27  
Old 09-15-2017, 12:39 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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What about a movie about social injustice to zombies?
  #28  
Old 09-15-2017, 02:13 PM
Ornery Bob Ornery Bob is offline
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I have no problem calling anything made for the big screen a film, regardless of the medium. For my own part, I used to shoot home movies but now I make videos.
  #29  
Old 09-15-2017, 02:57 PM
Blakeyrat Blakeyrat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
If it's about Zombies, it's a movie. If it's about social injustice, it's a film.
If it's about zombies and there's female nudity, it's a flick.
  #30  
Old 09-15-2017, 03:34 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Wikipedia uses "film" as the default.
  #31  
Old 09-15-2017, 03:51 PM
Tired and Cranky Tired and Cranky is offline
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Along those lines, do people nowadays use their phone's video mode to "tape" someone? I don't usually hear it called "filming".
I say "record" but I don't know if I'm typical.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:13 PM
Ornery Bob Ornery Bob is offline
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I say "record" but I don't know if I'm typical.
"Record" would be the correct term of art and I think a lot of people use it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:13 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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While not pertinent to which term is more used these days in England, "movie" is definitely of American origin(1908) and seldom used outside of US writing until many years later.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:18 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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While not pertinent to which term is more used these days in England, "movie" is definitely of American origin(1908) and seldom used outside of US writing until many years later.
Which, if you think about it, is a bit odd because the construction seems more British than American. Thet seem to add the "ie" or "y" ending onto words more frequently than we do. I heard that on the telly.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-16-2017 at 10:19 AM.
  #35  
Old 09-16-2017, 01:14 PM
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Just to stir the pot, I would assume the existence of Netflix means the expression "going to the flicks" or "watching/seeing a flick" is not unknown in the US, as it is in the UK?
  #36  
Old 09-16-2017, 01:24 PM
Orwell Orwell is offline
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"Flick" is a well-known, though seldom-used, slang term for a movie here in the US.

Last edited by Orwell; 09-16-2017 at 01:25 PM.
  #37  
Old 09-16-2017, 01:59 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Orwell View Post
"Flick" is a well-known, though seldom-used, slang term for a movie here in the US.
Also known in the phrase "chick flick" and "skin flick." I hear the former commonly enough here.
  #38  
Old 09-16-2017, 02:01 PM
krondys krondys is offline
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Along those lines, do people nowadays use their phone's video mode to "tape" someone? I don't usually hear it called "filming".
I only ever hear "recording" in the context of phone cameras.
  #39  
Old 09-16-2017, 04:13 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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When I was in 9th grade, we had to write a fairly lengthy paper on some sort of legitimate topic for an English class that would demonstrate the things we learned about composition that term. I chose to compare the screen and book versions of 3 of Michael Crichton's novels. By doing so I was consigned to having to say "in the book" and "in the movie" or similar phrases quite a lot. One thing I decided to do to break up the monotony was to replace every other instance of the word "movie" with "film".
  #40  
Old 09-16-2017, 04:43 PM
TSBG TSBG is offline
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I have a foot in the American documentary world. Some do say film probably because it seems more elevated, but you hear movie about equally IME.

"Shoot" seems to have become a common default term (in the US) for the capturing of moving images as neither tape nor film are used much any more.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:20 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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No, it isn't. Dusty is off his rocker, I tell you. Theater is by far the dominant spelling in the US, but many places do have 'Theatre' as part of their name.
I agree with this. A lot of commercial establishment use spellings like center and theatre because it Los fact, but the standard spellings are still center and theater.

And I agree with others—in the U.S. we usually go to the "(movie) theater" to watch a "movie." The theater often has "cinema" in its name, but we rarely call it "the cinema" nor refer to the art or industry in general as "cinema."
  #42  
Old 09-16-2017, 08:19 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
The "theatre" spelling is nonstandard in American English. It's used in some proper names to give an ersatz sense of elegance to the establishment, because to many Americans, British English is viewed as higher class than American English. It's not uncommon on both movie theaters and live performance theaters. The same thing is done with other words that are spelled differently in BrE vs. AmE. For example, in San Francisco there are two shopping malls called "North Point Centre" and "Westfield San Francisco Centre", and an assisted living facility called "Bay Harbour Care Home".
Some 45 years ago, in the University Theatre Department, the proper spelling was 'theatre' -- 'theater' referred to those cheap places where they showed movies & cartoons while the audience ate popcorn. Professors would mark you down if you used the 'theater' spelling.

But even then that was kinda dying out -- only the older professors insisted on it. Younger ones would just point it out, and say that if old so-and-so was teaching this class, your grade would suffer from that, so better get in the habit of using the 'theatre' spelling.
American spell-checkers do highlight the 'theatre' spelling, but there were no spellcheckers back then. I'd say either spelling is OK today. But then, given cell phones & twitter, just about any spelling seems to be accepted today. U git me, 4 sure?
  #43  
Old 09-17-2017, 12:45 AM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Along those lines, do people nowadays use their phone's video mode to "tape" someone? I don't usually hear it called "filming".
Sometimes I catch myself saying "tape" instead of record, I was born in 1988, so VCR's and other cassettes were still around and the most ubiquitous for 'recording' things. So I sometimes say 'tape'. I feel like its going to stick and my kids are going to be saying "what does 'tape something' mean? you old man". It'll be one of those words that is attributed to older generations in its use. Sort of like "fix you supper" or "that's horsehockey".

Last edited by anomalous1; 09-17-2017 at 12:45 AM.
  #44  
Old 09-17-2017, 02:17 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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I only ever hear "recording" in the context of phone cameras.
When I here :recording' I reach for my video camera...
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