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BS: British-American cultural differences 2

Jim Dixon 16 Aug 00 - 03:35 PM
celticblues5 16 Aug 00 - 04:06 PM
Kim C 16 Aug 00 - 04:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 00 - 04:55 PM
Penny S. 16 Aug 00 - 04:59 PM
MMario 16 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 00 - 05:19 PM
The Shambles 16 Aug 00 - 05:29 PM
Marymac90 16 Aug 00 - 05:33 PM
Bert 16 Aug 00 - 05:34 PM
celticblues5 16 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM
catspaw49 16 Aug 00 - 06:49 PM
Bert 16 Aug 00 - 06:54 PM
CarolC 17 Aug 00 - 03:35 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 17 Aug 00 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 17 Aug 00 - 04:59 AM
Gervase 17 Aug 00 - 05:12 AM
Penny S. 17 Aug 00 - 05:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 00 - 05:45 AM
Penny S. 17 Aug 00 - 05:49 AM
death by whisky 17 Aug 00 - 05:58 AM
CarolC 17 Aug 00 - 06:51 AM
kendall 17 Aug 00 - 07:05 AM
Gervase 17 Aug 00 - 07:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 00 - 09:16 AM
catspaw49 17 Aug 00 - 09:28 AM
Gary T 17 Aug 00 - 09:36 AM
GUEST 17 Aug 00 - 09:41 AM
Rana who SHOULD be working 17 Aug 00 - 09:46 AM
Gary T 17 Aug 00 - 09:53 AM
MMario 17 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM
Mbo 17 Aug 00 - 10:14 AM
MMario 17 Aug 00 - 10:31 AM
Mbo 17 Aug 00 - 10:34 AM
sophocleese 17 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Colwyn Dane 17 Aug 00 - 01:06 PM
hesperis 17 Aug 00 - 01:38 PM
Jacob B 17 Aug 00 - 02:34 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 17 Aug 00 - 02:40 PM
MMario 17 Aug 00 - 02:54 PM
Rana who SHOULD be working 17 Aug 00 - 03:49 PM
cleod 17 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM
celticblues5 17 Aug 00 - 05:02 PM
Burke 17 Aug 00 - 06:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM
CarolC 17 Aug 00 - 08:57 PM
MarkS 17 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM
Lox 18 Aug 00 - 12:33 AM
Brendy 18 Aug 00 - 01:26 AM
Bagpuss 18 Aug 00 - 05:39 AM
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Subject: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 03:35 PM

Having just returned to the US from another vacation in England and Ireland, I return to one of my favorite topics (which was begun in this thread) to add some new observations:

BRITISH STUFF UNKNOWN IN AMERICA: Milk floats. Gyro accounts. Question time. Fruiterers. Duvets. Electric showers. Pelican crossings. Zebra crossings. Green wellies. Catteries. The Glaswegian kiss. Colliery bands. Onion bhajis. Balti. Nan. Chappati. Lime pickle. Twiglets. Joffa cakes. McVitie's. Christmas pantos. Christmas crackers. Christmas pudding. Christmas number one. Bank holidays. Timers on water heaters. Hover mowers. Teletext. Ploughman's lunch. Crop circles. "Songs of Praise." The page three girl. Lime marmalade. Grapefruit marmalade. Salad cream. Salads without dressing. Cream teas. Cream crackers. Guy Fawkes day/bonfire night. Packs containing 10 cigarettes (or any quantity other than 20).

AMERICAN STUFF UNKNOWN IN BRITAIN: Cheerleaders. Baton twirlers. High school marching bands. Parade floats. Thanksgiving. Pancakes with syrup. Trick-or-treating on Halloween.

SOME THINGS FAR MORE COMMON IN BRITAIN THAN IN AMERICA: Wardrobes. Lever door handles. Tool bags. Paper lampshades. Prime time soaps. Ghosts, or people who believe in them. Charity shops. Wooden matches. National newspapers. Orange marmalade.

SOME THINGS FAR MORE COMMON IN AMERICA THAN IN BRITAIN: Closets. Doorknobs. Tool boxes. Churchgoers. Free munchies in bars. Paper matches. Local newspapers. Salad dressing.

REMARK ALLEGEDLY MADE BY AN AMERICAN TEENAGER IN BRITAIN: "Eeewww! They put squash in their pop!"

I will attempt to explain any of the above topics if requested, but I want to give others a chance to comment first.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: celticblues5
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:06 PM

Jim -
This is so interesting! I'll have to check out the first thread.
Just a couple of things on this posting - we DO have duvets here in the US - I think it's a relatively new term here, but the upscale dept. stores & catalogues now all use it.
I'll bet most of the catters know what Christmas crackers and the page 3 girl are - or at least a large portion of them, since what seems to have been a huge percent responded to the thread on the Britcoms.
Anyone in the Midwest knows from crop circles.
Have seen grapefruit marmalade here, and of course orange.
How could we have read any reasonable amount of Britlit/history without knowing Guy F?
Chappatis are Indian - not at all unknown here.
Yes! Please explain whatever doesn't get answered - particularly, what DO they put on their pancakes & - no kidding - squash in pop? eeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwww! (and, honey, i ain't no teen!) I know what wellies are, but what does green signify? Obviously, electric showers CAN'T be as dangerous as they sound *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:54 PM

I always thought the expression "pissed," meaning "drunk" across the pond was kinda funny. When I was there, I didn't see anyone put squash in a pop, but saw all manner of vegetation in Pimms & Soda.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:55 PM

There's a distinction between the differences which mean thatsomething just isn't there, and the one where it's just that it's got a different name.

For example the USA may not have "bank holidays", but it has got public holidays like Christmas Day and Labor Day and so forth.

Knowing about those kind of name differences is interesting and can avoid confusion - but it's the differences which involve something just not being there which really give a window into the foreignness of cultures we think we know.

I mean, do people in the US really not pull Christmas Crackers (as opposed to calling them something differentlike Bon-Bons) and read out the jokes and put on silly paper hats? What can Christmas dinner be like? What about Christmas puddings? Mince pies?

(On the same lines I've met Americans who were appalled to realise that there really is no equivalent of Thanskgiving at the end of November over here - unless you're like me and your birthday is around that time.)


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:59 PM

On pancakes, the traditional accompaniment is lemon juice and sugar. These are thin pancakes, not as thin as French crepes, nor as big, about nine inches across. As one side is cooked, the pan is flipped to turn them by tossing(unless you're chicken, and use a tool). When the second side is cooked, the pancake is slid onto a plate, the juice and sugar sprinkled on and the pancake rolled up, and more juice and sugar put on.

We have a soft drink called squash, usually orange or lemon, and the name comes from the process, not the vegetable. Its a concentrate, and is diluted before drinking.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: MMario
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM

always had a timer on the hot water heater -- crop circles grew up with, marmalade of course comes in any citrus variety, it's my understanding salad cream is the equivilant of miracle whip, christmas crackers and christmas pudding are family traditions, what's wierd about lever door handles?, duvet stolen from the french, ploughman's lunch is common enough, grew up with wooden matches, paper lampshades are normal enough. Where do you get free munchies in bars?


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:19 PM

Bits of things you can eat in saucers on the bar - peanuts, cheese, biscuits, even small crustaceans - are quite common in pubs in England, at least on a Sunday morning.

I'm relieved about Christmas Puddings and Christmas Crackers.

Though these things tend to be identified as British-American differences, lots of them are common to other places as well as Britain, such as Ireland and Australia.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:29 PM

The last train to Harrow and Wealdstone, does not sound too good....


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Marymac90
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:33 PM

No Christmas Crackers, or Bon-Bons, no Christmas pudding, and mince pie is at the bottom of the list, as far as pies go. You could probably get one right on Christmas day, because many more are made by bakeries than are bought, whereas it's hard to get a pumpkin pie at the last minute. Apple is a perennial favorite pie. The British meaning of pudding, as an accompaniment to roast beef, is virtually unknown. Pudding means dessert-usually chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch. Silly paper hats are possible on New Year's Eve, but less and less likely. What are Christmas pantos? What is Christmas number one? I know Europeans celebrate holidays like Christmas and Easter on more than one day, as in Easter Monday, which US'ers do not.

In 1978, a friend of mine from Britain came here with her two school aged children. One was known to have said "This is America! You can get anything you want!" However, they found it difficult to come by Marmite and Wheetabix-the latter are more common now.

The Brits say "pissed' when we'd say drunk. Sometimes I say "s__t-faced drunk", when I mean VERY inebriated. Then the Brits say "brassed off" (as in the movie about colliery bands), when US'ers would say pissed off.

Perhaps orange squash is something like orange crush, or perhaps like Orangina?

I know the Indian references like nan and chapatis. There are many Indian restaurants and groceries in university areas. These may be less well known than tacos and burritos, perhaps, especially in suburbs and working class neighborhoods.

Marymac


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:34 PM

Marymac! what are you doing posting to this thread? you should be on your way to Mudcat Radio by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: celticblues5
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM

Just got done reading the first thread & had to laugh at the reference to so many American regional differences - especially when the Texans weighed in (and the person who mentioned mushy peas). When I moved from the Midwest to go to North Texas State, I made the mistake of asking the surly cafeteria worker for a serving of peas. She fixed me with a steely stare and asked, "ENGLISH peas?" (guess my Midwestern accent gave me away) Huh? What the hell are English peas? She meant "regular" green peas, of course, but to her "peas" meant black-eyed peas, something I had seen and probably would have eaten politely had they been put in front of me, but would never have crossed my mind to order DELIBERATELY. After a few months of always having to clarify my order, they finally got me conditioned to order it "correctly" the first time. lol

Yeah, grits - don't go there.

Responses to some of the comments on February's thread -

Blackvelvet - The differences in English regional speech are really striking to Americans. A few years ago, PBS had a series on the origins of the English language, and during the course of it they interviewed people in various parts of the country. It was interesting to listen to people who were technically English, but who lived in the north & who sounded, to the American ear, more like Scots. And I have a friend in Norfolk who used to do some reading for the BBC - she had to use a particular voice/accent instead of her normal one for them to use her!

Bert - what IS a savaloy? I've wondered that ever since seeing "Oliver!"

Jim - kippered herring is readily available in the Midwest - comes in a flat tin - King Oscar is the main brand I see around here - but it's not terribly smoke-flavored.

MMario - some bars started offering free munchies when they cracked down on drink discounts in order to try to stem over-imbibing. Just another come-on.

McGrath - yup, it's true how they torture cats - it's like removing the first section of human's fingers, & of course they can't defend themselves as well afterwards. Lots of people are lobbying against that.
Also - we do have gigantic signs that go on top of the cars being driven by student drivers, to warn one and all! Tee hee. Unfortunately, they are only on the driving school cars - wouldn't hurt to make 'em put the signs on their private cars as well. But the student drivers could probably get the ACLU to defend them against such personal insult.

White cheddar isn't a separate variety, as far as I understand - it just hasn't had artificial color added, as they have done to the yellow cheeses. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Steve - Somehow, we just can't work up much sympathy for those poor, blonde, Nordic women who are so grieviously discriminated against. I'll try to work on that character flaw. :-)

Forget who commented - I have seen a few roundabouts in the Midwest - there was at least one moderately-sized one in Kansas City, but they changed it and smoothed out the circle some years ago after a few too many accidents - and that was before cell phone popularity really took off. I'd shudder to imagine all the exec types trying to navigate the circle at a fair clip while yakking on the phone.

Metchosin - I agree fewer & more judiciously-placed f's would enhance conversation these days. They just lose their impact when they come out every other word. Where, oh where is the wit of Mencken & Bierce?


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:49 PM

I think the "Britcom" thread mentiones above showed that a lot of us in the US are familiar now far more than we used to be. I get a kick out of ribbing my cross-pond brethren though about the crackers/cookies/biscuits/scones differences we share, but most of the things listed exist somewhere here now more than they used to, thanks to TV and the internet.

We're still probably the only family in this county who has Toad in the Hole on a regular basis though.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:54 PM

A savaloy is a red coloured, small spiced sausage with a distinctive flavour. Absolutely nothing like it here in the States. It is sold fully cooked and usually eaten cold.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 03:35 AM

I have a can of Heinz spotted dick that I use to prop up books on my book shelf. (Friend of mine brought it back from England as a gift.) What I want to know is, why the fish oil in what appears to be a bread/puddingish desert-thing?

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 04:51 AM

We learned a lot from the Beatles. But what I need to know is whether they have Chinese fortune cookies in Britain. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 04:59 AM

Yes, Johnny, the last one I had said: "Help, I am a prisoner in a fortune cookie factory" (please send that joke an anniversary card, 40 years at least and still going strong!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Gervase
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:12 AM

Can someone enlighten me? I cam across 'Spaw using the word 'hooters', so it must be smutty. But what are hooters? I'll take a guess at breasts, but am I right?


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:24 AM

1. A kipper in a tin is not a proper kipper. These are traditionally bought in pairs. The best I know are from Loch Fyne, or from Craster in Northumberland. One of my Open University geology Summer Schools ended up at the smokehouse at Craster for students and staff to load up with them. You could tell the geologists on the train home! So could the cats.

2. Pantomime is a presentation in text and song of a traditional story, now from a narrower range than in the past. They are usually selected from Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow-White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, Dick Whittington, Mother Goose & Aladdin. They include popular songs and others appropriate to the story, topical references, sometimes jokes inappropriate for a child audience, though less so recently, transformation scenes, messy scenes with clowns in kitchens, audience participation "Oh no he didn't", "Oh yes he did," "Look behind you", singing a silly song from a drop down sheet, dancers, a few variety acts, a Dame - think the Betty from Morris dancing rather than drag queen, the hero played by a girl in tights and long boots (less so now), the endless struggle between good and evil "Boo, Hiss", and actors sending themselves up something rotten with really hammy acting. Why do you think our actors are so good at villains? Magic.

3. More on squash. It's whole fruit, plus sugar (and colouring and preservative... No fizz. There are technical requirements as to what is described as squash or fruit drink. Not like Orangina. More like lemonade concentrate, but the lemon version is sweeter than that. Do you have lemon barley water? More like that.

4. Pudding - has a very wide definition. Savoury puddings, such as Yorkshire, Steak and Kidney, suet pudding as an accompaniment to lamb or mutton. Sweet puddings which are obviously the same sort of thing as steak and kidney - Sussex pond, marmalade, jam roly poly, spotted dick (and the real thing has been nowhere near fish oil!), bread based puddings such as Queeen of puddings, bread and butter pudding or bread pudding. All solid carbohydrate flour based dishes, cooked. There are cake mixture based puddings, custards (egg type), and gradual movement to the jelly, blancmange, cold type of dessert as mentioned above.

Penny (feeling hungry)


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:45 AM

At school any kind of sweet/dessert would be referred to as being the pudding. Ice cream for example.

Saveloys are also sold in chippies (fish and chip shops) covered in batter and fried. But then so do all kind of things. Mars Bars in some places.

And could someone say what "grits" actually are in a culinary context?


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:49 AM

See grits thread. Or come to Bluewater, find Jerry's Home Store, and buy a £5 packet of Quaker Instant Grits. Or not, as I chose.

Our chippy doesn't batter the saveloys. They are a bit like hot dog sausages, aren't they?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: death by whisky
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:58 AM

Squash is what Americans call TANG.

Black pudding,made from pigs blood.

Dare I mention the SHHHH!(fanny).


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:51 AM

Gervase, you are correct. We have a whole chain of restaurants named after them.

McGrath of Harlow, grits are a sort of thick gruel made of ground up corn.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: kendall
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:05 AM

Mince pie is quite common here in Maine. It is made with either wild rabbit or venison. I have had it outside Maine but it is a poor imitation full of sour fruit and all.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Gervase
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:10 AM

A chain of restaurants named after breasts? What a hoot! Do they serve kiddy food?


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:16 AM

"Mince pie is quite common here in Maine. It is made with either wild rabbit or venison." (Kendall) Now there lies an interesting intercultutral confusion.

The distinction we have is between mincemeat, which is made up of fruit and fat and stuff like that, and is very much a sweetmeat, without any "meat" at all (unless you count suet, which is the fat), and minced meat which is chopped up meat.

There's a lovely anecdote on a thread a few months back about a visitor to a foreign country (maybe Australia), who goes into a restarurant, and asks for the wrong kind of mince pie, the meaty one, to be served with custard, which is very tasty with the fruit type of mincemeat. Then when he gets served, after having to insist that this is what he wants, he has to eat it up, as the only way to avoid humiliation, while the incredulous waiter looks on, highly impresseed.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:28 AM

Hi Gervase.......I'm honored to think that if I say it, it must be smut. I think cousin Micca has a similar affliction so it may be genetic.

Hooter's is a chain that now advertizes a family thing as well, although they really started as just another fern bar with large breasted girls in tight t-shirts. Awhile back they got trounced in one of the sexual discrimination lawsuits by some guy who wanted to be a waiter. They started the family image thing after that.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Gary T
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:36 AM

Nah, Gervase, they serve mediocre food (so I hear--never ate at one) brought to you by young ladies in short T-shirts and shorts (gotta show that midriff). It's the kind of place where waitresses are hired for their looks. My favorite aspect is their signs, which feature an owl. Owls are said to hoot (their call), and some species are called hoot owls. So the sign has the two O's in the word "Hooters" serving as the owl's eyes, instead of the obvious female parts that everyone knows are really being hinted at (I've never heard owls actually called hooters, but it's common slang for breasts, not as gentle as "boobs" but less raw than "tits"). I guess you could say that in a metaphorical sense they serve the concept of breast milk, largely partaken of by the male libido.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:41 AM

Brits seem to have problems with the notion of "their" culture. See http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/england.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:46 AM

Don't know why this difference:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

vs.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Gary T
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:53 AM

You've gotten me curious, Rana, did they change the title of one of the books for the stateside market?

I remember the Philosopher's Stone being a concept of alchemy, a stone that would help in changing base metals (lead, etc.) into gold. It was sought for with the same fervor (and same results--never found) as the Holy Grail.

A "Sorceror's Stone" would just be a rock owned by a wizard--no particular meaning beyond the literal.

If I'm not mistaken in my understanding of the two phrases, it would seem rather, well, stupid to substitute one for the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: MMario
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM

mincemeat - which is now made mainly with fruit USED to be made with meat, and still is by some old recipes. And yes, it still tasted like the fruit version! I have had both types - heck, I have MADE both types; the difference wasn't so much in taste or texture as nutritional content. The meat version was MUCH higher in calories and protien


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:14 AM

I still find it hard to believe that Americans have no idea what a snog is! And I keep getting bizarre results whenever I mention crumpets. I've also found the "brill" thing funny too. I've never really though before of the word brilliant meaning good. Always used it like "smart."


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: MMario
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:31 AM

it also means "shiny"


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:34 AM

Hence "Brill-O".


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM

Books can suffer name changes and changes in the cover design between the US and Britain because of copyright issues not philosophical ones. For some titles and companies the US and the British copies come out at similar times but one company is supposed to get the revenue from the British market and a different company or branch of the same company is supposed to get the revenue from the US market. Canada has an advantage here as often, but not always, it can get either copy.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: GUEST,Colwyn Dane
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 01:06 PM

G'day,

On the theme of name changes, some movie titles have also been changed on the trans-atlantic journey westwards:

"The Chiltern Hundreds" to "The Amazing Mr Beecham"

"The Card" to "The Promoter"

"Fanny By Gaslight" to "Man Of Evil"

"The Rake's Progress" to "Notorious Gentleman"

"Tomorrow We Live" to "At Dawn We Die" - most odd.

There are many examples of title changing the US, or British, product for overseas customers
and I'm sure the reason is to promote business if not understanding.

We call different things by the same name, and the same thing by different names.
-G.

Toodle-pip.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: hesperis
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 01:38 PM

"Remember, remember,
the Fifth of November
Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot!
I see no reason
why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!"

I think I read that in a story by Josephine Tey, but it's at least 6 years since I read it last. It stuck in my head from the first time I read it, as I was rather a misfit then. I still notice when it's Guy Fawkes Day, although I've never actually celebrated it. (I'm a closet pyro, though. Mwaahaahaahaa!)
My Step-dad's a veery eccentric (to us) Englishman, who migrated to Canada a while back.
Fortunately, he brought a good many books over. Anybody else read the Swallows & Amazons series by Arthur Ransome? It was one of my absolute favorites as I was growing up.

TTFN,
hesperis


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Jacob B
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 02:34 PM

When my Morris team toured in England, we discovered that it's the words that mean different things in the two countries that get you in trouble ...

The team's regalia includes black knee-britches. In the U.S., the term for knee-britches is knickers (shortened from Knickerbockers sometime in the first half of the twentieth century.) When a team member referred to his knickers, he discovered that the word means something different in Britain.

A similar thing happened to a college friend of mine who went to teach in Australia. The rubber-soled shoes that are called plimsoles in Britain and Australia are called sneakers in the U.S., and her students were only allowed to wear them in gym class. When she saw them come back from gym still wearing their rubber-soled shoes, she told them to take off their sneakers, all they did was stare at her and giggle. The only way they could make sense out of "take off your sneakers" was to interpret it as an instruction to take off their knickers, which they weren't about to do!

Jacob


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 02:40 PM

Grits are made from a type of white corn called hominy, ground up and fried in butter, and served at breakfast.

I understand "corn" in Britain can mean wheat, as in the song Corn Rigs are Bonnie. Check me on this ...

== Johnny in Oklahoma City


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: MMario
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 02:54 PM

"corn" until the advent of the american maize was whatever was the most prevalent grain in an area.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 03:49 PM

Gary T.

Agreed - it's Philosopher's in UK (and Canada) but changed to Sorceror's in the US. I've no idea unless it is for reasons Sophoclese stated.

Rana

(Also, couldn't understand for a bit why I got quizzical looks from a Vancouver house mate when I asked them to pass my jumper (sweater). Didn't know it was a dress over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: cleod
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM

kendall, while you've got that maine lingo book, what does 'ayuh' mean? I always come across that in Stephen King's books.

Also, not being from America or England myself, it's fascinating to see what you guys think is different about each other's side of the pond. I used to read both American books and stuff by Enid Blyton, so I'm pretty much familiar with most of the terms here, it's just that I usually have problems with the food names... I mean, "spotted dick"? "bubble and squeak"? "skilly and duff"? -- huh?

And no one's wondered about the "lift = elevator" yet. :) what do you Brits call the escalator, then?

P.S. On a side note, my uncle immigrated to Australia many years back...he had a little problem with his name, as his full name was William, and he told his co-workers to call him, "Willy" ~!

cleod way off in Southeast Asia


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: celticblues5
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 05:02 PM

But the explanations of grits have left out the salient point - aside from being flavorless, one is apt to bite down on little gritty bits - hence the name. (People try to add flavor to 'em by mixing in butter, etc.) I politely tasted them in Texas and I politely tasted them in New Orleans and they were pretty much the same - don't plan to again!

Thanks for the explanation about the term "corn" - love the "Corn Rigs" song, but it did always sound a bit odd to think of corn growing in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Burke
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:17 PM

Book tiles are changed between US & UK editions for marketing purposes. James Herriot's books had entirely different tiles. Due to many of the language issues mentioned in this thread & spelling differences some books do have different US & UK editions. I think it's mostly in popular works. It would be interensing to compare books where different English & American editions are noted.

Copyrights in one country are recognized in others that conform with the international copyright conventions. This has been the case since sometime in the last 50 years so the copyright issue referred to above used to apply, but so far as I know, no longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM

People often call moving staircases escalators in England. In fact they probably use the term more often, wgichnis a pity, because "moving staircases" is a magic term

Talking about different levels - I take it people in the States are aware that the first storey in England and Ireland etc is what the Americans (I understand) refer to as the second storey, with the American first storey being called the ground floor. That must get highly confusing at times. Scope for all kinds of entertaining travellers tales...

And I can never work out weights in American English - I mean, when they say someone weighs 140 pounds, instead of ten stone. Well I can do it for 140 pounds, but I never learnt my 14 times table so I'm all at sea with other weights like 200 pounds or 180 etc.

Am I right in assuming Australians use pounds and stones? Apart from wimps who go in for kilos.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 08:57 PM

My observation of the differences in titles is that it looks (from the examples given), like publishers use more dynamic sounding titles for the U.S. market than they do for the British market.

This is in keeping with the differences that I see in movies and television programs. The first season or two of "Red Dwarf" seemed more cerebral to me than subsequent seasons. When the show became popular in the U.S., it seemed like they jazzed it up with flashier colors and more explosions, which is pretty much what I would expect if they wanted to market to the majority of people in the U.S.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: MarkS
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM

Hi McGrath
When you asked about grits I was reminded of the story about Louis Armstrong on a European tour. He was asked by the King of Somewhere
"Sachmo, what exactly are the blues"
To which Louis replied
"King, if you have to ask you will never know."
MarkS


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Lox
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 12:33 AM

A kipper tie is a wide lurid necktie, unless you come from Birmingham, in which case just add a little milk and sugar


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 01:26 AM

Or some bits.

I like bits, I do

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 2
From: Bagpuss
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 05:39 AM

I just had a big row with an american over biscuits / cookies! She complained that our "cookies" are hard and I replied that not only do they use the wrong name, but they have the wrong recipe too. And she certainly didn't understand the concept of dunking them in your tea.

Bagpuss


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