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BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions

Backwoodsman 04 Jun 16 - 12:50 AM
leeneia 04 Jun 16 - 12:16 AM
Janie 03 Jun 16 - 09:42 PM
meself 03 Jun 16 - 06:29 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Jun 16 - 02:01 AM
Allan Conn 02 Jun 16 - 06:56 PM
Andrez 02 Jun 16 - 07:29 AM
mkebenn 02 Jun 16 - 07:24 AM
Manitas_at_home 02 Jun 16 - 04:06 AM
meself 01 Jun 16 - 03:39 PM
mkebenn 01 Jun 16 - 01:56 PM
Tradsinger 01 Jun 16 - 11:59 AM
mkebenn 01 Jun 16 - 11:58 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Jun 16 - 01:01 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 11 - 02:11 AM
Gibb Sahib 01 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 11 - 05:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Oct 11 - 05:27 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 11 - 01:51 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Sep 11 - 09:02 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Sep 11 - 12:34 AM
Joe_F 29 Sep 11 - 09:16 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM
Mo the caller 26 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 AM
Mo the caller 25 Jul 11 - 11:19 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:16 PM
Penny S. 24 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM
BrooklynJay 24 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM
GUEST, topsie 24 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 09:01 AM
BrooklynJay 24 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM
Dave MacKenzie 24 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM
Penny S. 24 Jul 11 - 02:50 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:58 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM
Howard Jones 23 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM
Dave MacKenzie 23 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM
Penny S. 23 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 11 - 08:11 PM
Dave MacKenzie 22 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Jul 11 - 07:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 12:50 AM

"How's That?" is an appeal to the umpire for a decision re: a possible dismissal of the batsman (or 'batter' as you Americans mis-call him/her - 'batter' is the stuff pancakes are made from) on the grounds of, e.g., an LBW, or catch.

No appeal...no dismissal.

Hope that helps?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 12:16 AM

As an American, I have a question. I just read a story where cricket was involved, and players would say, "How's that, umpire?"

In America, "How's that?" is an informal way of saying "What did you just say?" But what does it mean in cricket?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Janie
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 09:42 PM

I don't say this from any authority, just my impression, but regarding fires, I think in the USA there may be different common usage of terms depending on which side of the Mississippi River. In the East, where we have large tracts of deciduous forest, major fires in forested areas are still mostly referred to as forest fires. Bushfire is not, I think, used anywhere in the USA. Brushfires, at least in the east, refer to fires that occur in meadows, grasslands, or mixed scrub areas with many bushes, scrub pines and saplings but is by no means forest. Forest fires may start as brush fires that spread into forests and become forest fires. Wildfire may be applied to any fire that is out of control, but in the East, most major fires that burn out of control are going to be in deciduous woods so will more likely be called forest fires. Fires in coastsl pine forests and swamps might be more likely to be called wildfires instead of forest fires.

Out west, my impression is fires are more likely to be called wildfires regardless of topography or fauna. It's higher and drier out there, with natural scrub lands, and extensive pine/evergreen forests but fewer deciduous forests. Fires on the great expanse of prairie between the Mississippi and the foothills of the Rockies, to the extent large expanses of prairie still exist, vs. cultivated land, are called prairie fires.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 06:29 PM

In Canada, it is only relatively recently, I believe, that 'wildfire' has become the preferred term - back in my day, grumble-grumble, it was 'forest fire'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 02:01 AM

Re 'the cold': it used to be that every disability or illness would be named by the definite article. I remember in one of Jane Austen's novels, Mansfield Park iirc, one character says sympathetically to another "I believe you have the headache"; which today would be "a headache". We still use this form for "the flu", but generally nowadays it is either "a", as above, or with no article, as in "I've got rheumatism rather badly at the moment". I don't know if these are idiomatically similar in US?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Allan Conn
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 06:56 PM

Mkeben it isn't true that all Brits drop the preposition! It is very much in use in Scotland not just in Scots but in Scottish Standard English too. Many do say "I am going to the school - or going to my bed - or I have the cold" etc. There are numerous forms of speech, accents ad dialects etc so the generalisations often don't hold.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Andrez
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 07:29 AM

In Australia when a forest burns we call it a Bushfire. Lately in the TV news when we see footage of the same in the US or Canada it gets called a Wildfire instead of the local wording. Newsreaders are the main culprits here!!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 07:24 AM

Meself I never got the difference in "to university" makes perfect sense. Mike. We yanks can tend to be a bit careless.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 04:06 AM

But we do talk about 'going into hospital'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 03:39 PM

'I've wondered why yanks go to the hospital or the university and Brits and Canadians drop the preposition, not that it matters. Mike'

Not quite right, and not that simple. If we 'go to university', we are enrolled in courses, but if we are on our way to a particular institution, we are 'going to the university'. We go to THE hospital, though; we never 'go to hospital' (unless we're three-years-old!).

As for 'aboot' - that seems to be something that Americans hear, but not what any Canadian actually says. It's far more likely to be something like, 'abaowt', or, in some places, 'abote'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 01:56 PM

Boot:trunk bonnet:hood. Coming of age in the early sixties Ithought all Brit accents were Cockney or Connery's Bond. Mike. As far as our Northern brothers, the "o" as in about{aboot" and
the interjection "eh".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Tradsinger
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 11:59 AM

I have loved reading this thread, being a) interested in language and how it changes and b) having worked briefly in the States. We could fill a dictionary with US and UK synonyms but in general we understand each other pretty well. I never had any language problems in the States, except once when I was asked to put a document in the bin and realised that it meant a tray not a waste-bin, nor did they have any problems understanding me. I had to change my vocabulary, of course - no sense in referring to a lift when everyone around you is saying elevator. As a general statement, the flow between British and American English is one-way, i.e. west to east, and so on this side of the pond we are very familiar with most 'Americanisms' but I guess that Americans are often surprised by 'Britishisms'.

There are a few differences that cause me to chuckle. If an American said "This plane will be airborne momentarily", that would sound alarming to me. Conversely, do Americans use the word 'dead' to mean 'very'. It may be a bit old-fashioned now, but I have no problem with "the music was dead lively" or seeing "Dead slow" painted on a road.

I have just read (yet another) article saying that regional accents are dying out in the UK - shame. It would be 'dead' boring if we all spoke the same, so as for the differences in British and American English - bring it on, I say, or else we won't have anything to talk and laugh about.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 11:58 AM

I've wondered why yanks go to the hospital or the university and Brits and Canadians drop the preposition, not that it matters. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 01:01 AM

Just read on the Latest Headlines site of a US exhibition of "dollhouses". In UK, we call such a children's plaything a "doll's house", which is also the invariable title of an early Ibsen play. Is it called "The Dollhouse" in the USA?

I was initially puzzled by the title of one of Damon Runyon's Manhattan stories, "The Old Doll's House", which I expected to concern a children's toy, but turned out to be actually about a house in which an old woman lived. A BBC tv continuity announcer I recall experiencing the same misunderstanding, announcing an upcoming version of the story with the emphasis on "doll's" when it should fall on "house".

In Runyon's works, there is no such thing as "a woman" or "a girl"; they are all invariably "dolls", just as his men are always "guys": whence, as will be instantly recognised, the title of a famous musical based on one of his stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown", and of a Penguin anthology of them.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 02:11 AM

But re London's 'multiple centres', Gibb: yes, true ~~ London is, like all huge conurbations, a collection of villages. But take one indication of which of these is really the centre: Theatres. Many 'villages' have, or have had, their own single theatre: Golders Green Hippodrome; Theatre Royal, Stratford East; Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park; Orpheum, Temple Fortune; The Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon; The Churchill Theatre, Bromley ... But the West End has ~~ how many? never counted; but googling London Theatre Seating Plans produced 45! And the general ambition of any company opening a production in any of these 'village' theatres, as well as in the provinces, is for an impresario to be found who will take it "into the West End".

QED


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM

As an American who visited London, yes, I considered the West End to be "downtown." More in the direction of Piccadilly and Leicester Square. However, with a city of London's size, it was understood that there were multiple "centres."

Los Angeles, being a very large city with multiple centers, might confuse people similarly, if it weren't for the fact that...being an American city...there is a known and labeled section called "downtown." But downtown in L.A. is not a tourist area, and in some places it is one of the least friendly places to outsiders, anywhere. Same with Downtown Kingston, Jamaica, where many would not like to be dead at night. "Uptown" is the more "happening" and *wealthy* area (I remember the reggae song, "Uptown Babies Don't Cry"). Downtown Hartford, Connecticut, is obviously the center due to its big buildings, but few would want to head there! Where I live now is "Downtown Long Beach". The transportation hub is here, but that makes it simply the business centre; it's not attractive to fun-seekers, I don't think.

"Where it's at" for a tourist is not synonymous with "downtown." In smaller cities, they may end up being synonymous simply because it's the *only* "stuff" there. I recently moved from "Downtown Santa Barbara". In a small city like that, there was absolutely no question where "downtown" was: where streets are tighter, traffic moves slower...where all publc transport reaches inbound "end of the line"!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 05:58 AM

Indeed. A common misnomer is the designation of outlying districts to the E of The city, like Newham, or even as far out as Romford, as The East End, whereas nobody would call Hammersmith or Ealing, say, The West End.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 05:27 AM

With the odd consequence that people in the west of London will talk about "going up West" when they intend to travel east to the West End.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 01:51 AM

As I have said before , Jim: surely London's Downtown = the West End + The City.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 09:02 PM

Does London have a "downtown?" Well, if you applied the definition that most Americans have in mind when they say "downtown," I guess you'd have to say that "downtown" is the City of London, the financial district. But does the City have any hotels? And would a tourist want to stay there?

And then you would have the problem of explaining why "the City" doesn't mean the same thing as "London."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 12:34 AM

Don't think I have ever seen our pigsty = your pigpen mentioned on any of these threads before.   Peanuts character Pigpen would be called Pigsty in any of our comics.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 09:16 PM

Uptown & downtown are regions of Manhattan as well as directions, and there is a midtown in between. Not being a New Yorker, I do not know their exact boundaries.

Boston has a downtown (there is a subway station called Downtown Crossing), but it is thought of in polar rather than rectangular coordinates, so there is no uptown. The signs in the subway say Inbound & Outbound, not Uptown & Downtown as in New York. However, there is an eatery in Somerville (an inner suburb) that calls itself Johnny D's Uptown Lounge. I have never been clear whether that means I am to think of Davis Square (its neighborhood) as uptown Somerville, or Somerville as uptown Boston, or Boston as (way, way) uptown New York.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM

I refresh this old thread because I have just come across that charming American word, so appropriate when applied to Lucy van Pelt by her brother Linus, "fussbudget", on the 'electronic distractions' thread. It is a word we don't use over here" our equivalent is 'fusspot'.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM

I've not studied the exact legislation. Maybe more fruit than plain jam.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 AM

Then where does "Extra Jam" fit into all that, Mo?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:19 AM

The distinction between Jam and Conserve in the UK is a result of the Trade Description act I think.
Like the diference between 'Fruit Juice' 'fruit drink' 'squash' etc.
To call something by a particular name it has to have more than a certain proportion of some relevant ingredient.
Shop jam hasn't got a very high fruit content, and not all might be the fruit named on the label. Conserve has a high % of fruit and is like home-made jam.

The shopper in the UK needs to study the law before shopping (or assume that you get what you pay for)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:16 PM

I have lived in/near Cambridge for 50-ish years. I find the answer is that there is not just one building called The University, but the University is a federation of all the colleges. Have never met a tourist unable to grasp that as a concept.

A variant on the flightpath one is, Why did they build Stonehenge so far from the airport?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM

Did I mention that the train was due in at after 11 pm? My advice was that they booked in at the nearest hotel for the one night, and look for something more suitable next day. They weren't happy with that.

I was also in Cambridge once, somewhere near the Cavendish laboratory, I think, when some Americans asked where the University was. All around you was a bit difficult for them to understand - but they were brighter than the train couple.

On the other hand, the story about the American tourist looking out of the plane at Windsor Castle and asking why they put the place so close to the flight path strikes me as having been intended as a joke by the originator. I know Americans who could have thought of it.

And on the other subject, some little lads at school asked me, very concerned, why anyone would call someone Dick. (You can tell they didn't learn to read from Dick and Jane.) I explained that it was quite sad that someone, somewhere, decided to use perfectly ordinary waords and names for things people thought were rude, and made it very difficult for other people. Try telling people the story of the Musicians of Bremen, or even the story of Good Friday without tripping up.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM

TU Jay: & note that the young man in the story the Steinbeck character was telling was called Willy Feeley ~~ now what are we to make of that, eh?

There is a famous Donald McGill postcard of a fat man saying "I can't find my little Willie". {Donald McG on wiki if he is not known over there: famous 'naughty seaside postcard' artist, subject of essay by George Orwell. Or is he as well-known over there?}

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM

M - your research is greatly appreciated! As a matter of fact, the anecdote alerted me to another name which was so obvious, I can't believe I missed it:

Willy.

It should have been right up there with "John Thomas." Again, I would think it's more a UK expression. I remember many years ago seeing Billy Connolly on television and he made some jokes about "Free Willy." Very funny - if only I could remember just what it was that he said!

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM

Yes, indeed, Topsie ~~ esp IIRC it refers to different anatomical features here & there...

LoL

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM

An obvious example is Fanny - plenty of scope for confusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:01 AM

In LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER, Mellors the gamekeeper introduces 'John Thomas' to 'Lady Jane'. I can't say I have come across the latter as a term for vagina or pudendum elsewhere: has anybody? Or did DHL just make it up?

Not the first time I have come across an American stating that 'randy' is an exclusively UK word, but I grew up thinking it an Americanism: IIRC [tho it's going back about 65 years] I first came across it in Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath. I don't, btw, think it is connected with the name Randy, as Roger & John Thomas do derive from names in a attempt at humour[?], but rather is an independent word cognate with 'rant', from Dutch meaning to rave {& not in the party sens: oh, just get embroiled in words/derivations and see where you end up!

YAY: FOUND IT! ~~~ Minds me of a story they tell about Willy Feeley when he was a young fella. Willy was bashful, awful bashful. Well, one day he takes a heifer over to Graves' bull. Ever'body was out but Elsie Graves, and Elsie wasn't bashful at all. Willy, he stood there turnin' red an' he couldn't even talk. Elsie says, 'I know what you come for; the bull's out in back a the barn.' Well, they took the heifer out there an' Willy an' Elsie sat on the fence to watch. Purty soon Willy got feelin' purty fly. Elsie looks over an' says, like she don't know, 'What's a matter, Willy?' Willy's so randy, he can't hardly set still. 'By God,' he says, 'by God, I wisht I was a-doin' that!' Elsie says, 'Why not, Willy? It's your heifer."
— John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath) ~~~

How about that for research!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM

It's curious how a person's name (or names) can have a sexual meaning both here in the States and across the pond - but usually the names and connotations are different. Examples:

In the UK:

"Roger" (as a verb) can also mean the sexual act.

"Randy" is a synonym for "horny."

"John Thomas" is slang for penis. (I remember an old episode of "Are You Being Served?" in which Wendy Richard wanted to order a "Tom Collins" but ended up saying something quite a bit different!)

Here in the US (aside from the ever-popular "Dick"), instead of "John Thomas" you might hear "Johnson." But it may be more of a regionalism, or more popular with African-Americans (at least from my experience).

Any other names I've missed?

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM

Sorry about the misattribution.

There is a distinction. When I worked for the Post Office, I actually worked for Royal Mail (except when it was Consignia) - the Post Office was a separte bit which ran the sub Post Offices. I don't think there's been a GPO for a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM

Well ~~ Kings Road Chelsea a bit further out; but Carnaby St off Regent St only just up from Piccadilly Circus, off which also runs Shaftesbury Ave the heart of Theatreland, & Piccadilly in which is leading store Fortnum & Mason, & in the Circus itself is Swan & Edgar, & halfway up Regent St, crossing it at Oxford Circus, is Oxford St where many main stores [e.g. Selfridge's, the original John lewis & Debenhams] ... and there are hotels in all these [the Ritz is in Piccadilly], or not far away in Park Lane [Dorchester, Grosvenor House], the Strand [Savoy]...

Still, Penny, I agree that as they didn't actually know what they were looking for there wasn't that much you could tell them. I think I should just have told them to go to Piccadilly Circus & walk in any direction & they would find something interesting. I still think that by 'Downtown' they would have meant the West End.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 02:50 AM

As far as I thought at the time, the theatres are not in quite the same place as the best shops, again not in the same place as the 1960's area of King's Road, Carnaby Street, etc. It's a matter of scale, I suppose. I asked them which particular features they were interested in, suggesting shops, theatres etc., and they didn't know.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:58 AM

"Wash up" in UK = US "Do the dishes"; if we wash ourselves, we just 'wash' tout court. A 1950s UK Davy Crockett children's parody, for those old enough to recall that particular nine-days obsession, went "The Yellow Rose of Texas and the Man From Laramie - Went round to Davy Crockett to have a cup of tea. - The tea was so delicious they had another cup - And poor old Davy Crockett had to do the washing-up" [to tune, obviously, of Yellow Rose]. Unconvincing, the nephew, then about 5, that I learnt it from pointed out, because a second cup is generally poured in the same cup as the first so no additional washing-up would have been necessary!

~M~

[Also posted as part of discussion of 'up' on 'Sloppy' thread]


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM

Re poem quoted [& misattributed] above ~~

"Night Mail is a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train from London to Scotland, produced by the GPO Film Unit. A poem by English poet W. H. Auden was written for it, used in the closing few minutes, as was music by Benjamin Britten."
Wikipedia

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM

Yes, Howard; but the postman is employed by Royal Mail as well as the GPO [General Post Office] ~~ or are the terms interchangeable? or if not what is the distinction?; I have never been sure.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM

WH Auden.

Interesting distinction: we "post" a letter in a "postbox" and it's delivered by a "postman" working for the "Post Office", but we would never refer to a "post train", it's a "mail train"


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM

There is another thread going now, which mentions the 'Irish Mail' in its title. In Britain, although the American sense would be understood, it is (or at least was) the name of a train. We would normally say the Irish Post Office (or an Post).

"This is the Night Mail crossing the Border....." (Betjeman).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM

In London, by 'Downtown' they surely meant the West End; where it's 'at', and all the leading shops, hotels, theatres are located. And perhaps also the City, where many of the historical buildings are.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

I once had a very difficult conversation with a couple of tourists from the States about the whereabouts of downtown in London. We were on a train from Dover to London, late on a Sunday night, and they had come from the continent. On Sundays, the rail companies do engineering works, and our journey was interrupted by bus trips to allow for this. The mother took this personally, and did not understand about not interrupting commuters' journeys on working days.
She and her son had not booked a hotel in London, and wanted to know which one to go in downtown London. I asked them to define what they meant by downtown. The son said "You know, where it's at." I silently cursed Petula Clark. We never arrived at any sensible conclusion, as I tried to find out whether they wanted shops, theatres, historic buildings... And as for hotels...

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 08:11 PM

Sellotape is European only, made by the Scapa Group plc.
Scotch brand tape is made by 3M, which means Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, a conglomerate company. Their ordinary transparent sticky tape is called Ruban Magic Tape but most people just call it 'Scotch tape'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM

When you say scotch tape, do you mean sellotape?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 07:25 PM

Bill D, when you say

Companies, of course, are delighted when their product..(Kleenex, Jello in the US) become synonymous with a class.

I think not so across the board. That's a terrible danger, because the company is likely to lose the identity of its product.

How about Nylon, which became "nylon"
and Eversharp (pencils), which became "eversharp" pencils
and Cellophane, which became "cellophane"
and Aspirin, which became "aspirin"
and Scotch Tape, which became "scotch tape"
I'm not sure whether Celluloid was a trademark which faded into "celluloid", but I strongly suspect so.


and on and on, trademarks which were lost because they became
generic.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM

We have downtown (office buildings, hotels, condos, and, yes, a section with the lower orders). The better-off folks are in the suburbs and may go downtown to the office tower, but they shop in the suburban malls. The "sticks" are rural (unless one is well-off, then one lives "in the country".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM

And most people live "out in the sticks".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM

The connotation of "downtown" is funky and inhabited by lower income people, whereas "uptown" is less gritty and richer people.


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