And here are all the lyrics!
And here are all the lyrics!
I've noticed that too. "Yard" can mean an enclosed industrial space in the US just as in the UK. Most people say "yard" when they arereferringto their lawn--the grass covered area kept trimmed and manicured. "Garden" can have the same meaning as in the UK but when most people use it they are referring to the place where they grow vegetables. Out in Hollywood a yard and a lawn are the same thing: Concrete with the latter spray-painted green or covered with artificial turf.
One of my little bugbears (and there are so many!!) is the use of "yard" for "garden". I very much doubt that a British person hearing their much loved and tended garden described as a yard would be flattered. In the UK a yard is somewhere with a stone/concrete/earth floor, generally attached to a business (such as a garage) or stable, for example. I was watching The Mentalist the other week and he described a rather lovely formal garden with clipped hedges and flowers as "a yard"! A courtyard is of course a more formal space.
Feeding porkers food waste is strictly illegal today but I imagine they thoroughly enjoyed it!
You would have to padlock the lid to keep raccoons out--but that wouldn't deter their weightier cousins the bears. We had a black bear visit Jefferson City in 1993 and where do you suppose he went? Straight to Walmart where he ripped the lids of the large commercial waste bins and sat down for lunch.
As a sign of the times, the term "trash collector" is being considered by some as a pejorative. Newspaper "help wanted" ads might use "environmental waste management engineer" instead. When I was a kid the common term for the job was "garbage man" which itself fell prey to the more lofty phrase of "trash collector." The general rule is: As soon as everyone figures out what the new term means you must change it. Oh, and by the way, in those insensitive times of the 1960's the garbage man hauled garbage to the town "dump."
There was a time in America, too, when the primary component of household waste was coal "dust" or "ash" removed from the fireplace or coal furnace. The "dust" or "coal ash" was carted to the town dump and piled up in massive, highly radioactive (*according to some) mountains of refuse. Dickens wrote about this in his last completed novel. The good news is much of it was recycled into soap and provides a possible explanation as to why some facial cleansers were said to produce a glowing complexion.
There are some who claim that "fly ash" produced from burning coal is 100 times more radioactive than the waste generated by a modern nuclear reactor:
I think the American holiday Thanksgiving is the culprit. It is the second most important holiday in America behind Christmas. The standard greeting is Happy Thanksgiving! Perhaps the word "Merry" helps differentiate the two. Also, I think most Americans tend to view Christmas as a "season," an extended period of time, beginning the day after Thanksgiving and culminating on Christmas morning. It's hard to be constantly "happy" during that entire season. The word "merry" tends to have a slightly different meaning akin to the word "festive."
Enlightened? Well kind of. It highlights (forgive the pun) the difference between Americanisms and English. Flashlight just seems totally wrong and doesn't make sense to Brits. It's a torch old boy! Anyone remember the motorists torch that was completely encased in rubber? In the 50's and 60's practically ever motorist had one in the boot of the car.
Ive also been reminded about a torch that used to be available for young boys and I got one for Christmas once. It was a torch with a three position switch and a red button. Red buttons were very exciting in the 60s! The switch positions were - OFF, Full ON, and MORSE. In the Morse position the light was on for as long as you held the red button down, thus you could use it to send Morse code or flash it at your friend who lived in the house opposite. No end of funplaying with that and signalling your mates to attack when playing WAR. It was this type of Torch that made us think that this is what the Americans meant by a flashlight, but in the films it was just an ordinary torch that was being used.
Anyway, must go now. Ive got to get some new batteries for my torch!
Christopher, I do believe that when the flashlight was invented, there was not a steady electric current source and users needed to press a button to literally flash light at intervals. I remember some flashlights as a child had a button to press when you wanted to turn the light on, however, the flash light did not stay on by itself. In the United States the common name is 'flashlight'. In European countries however, the name torch or electric torch is used.
OK I've remembered one that has bugged me for years. Flashlight. Often heard in American films over here andI can remember it puzzling me as far back as mychildhood. Flashlight, we say torch of course. Flashlight? Why flashlight? What flashes? Torches don't flash. You switch it on and it stays on, nothing flashes. So why flashlight?
I suppose you can "be redundant" but it's not really a phrase you hear as it doesn't sound very nice! I remember seeing a documentary about the Queen many years ago where she was telling someone that Ted Heath was now redundant (actually she could have been telling TH he was redundant). I can't remember the circumstances but it was supposed to be amusing (and was!).
You're right, Christopher, of course. One might say, "well that idea is now redundant", meaning it's no longer of any use. People take redundancy from their jobs (or are made redundant) and are generally paid a sumto do so. They may become unemployed after that but it doesn't strictly mean being unemployed.
There may be some remnant of Middle English, Norman French or even Saxon in that use of "while".
From my own point of view, growing up in South Wales, we would say "He do live over by there." Many of theEnglish and monoglotEnglish-speaking posh Welsh would laughandderide the locals for badgrammar. It took alinguisticepiphany in later life for me to realizethat "He do liveoverby there" was/is a gallant attempt by Welsh-first-language speakers to translate the Welsh, keep the word order and still make sense in English:
Mae e'n byw draws fan 'na"
(is) he living over there/place that"
"he lives yonder there/place that".
I was once asked by a famous Welsh teacher if I spoke Welsh. When I said I only spoke "Cwmafan" Welsh [street -level, valley dialect], he replied: " It's all Welsh." Iimmediatelyrelaxed and had a perfectly satisfactory conversation with a "correct" speaker of the language. After all, language is primarily for communication,historicallylocal or increasingly universal. All else is icing on theeclair.
Regional dialects make alllanguagesricher, even if itcomplicatesthings for the visitor.
Many years agoI worked for a company basednear Sheffield. They use a particular word in Yorkshire (England) in a very curious way which was very confusing when I first heard it. I was on a traing course and at the end of the day the trainer asked if we would all like to go out to a local restaurant instead of eating at the hotel. We agreed, so he told us where the restaurant was and said, 'we'll meet there while eight o'clock.' We looked at each other blankly and hadn't a clue what he meant. He had to explain that 'while' meant 'at' or 'until'in the local dialect. e.g.There isn't a bus while eleven o'clock'
It has always been "spat' to me too. The same goes for "sneaked" instead of "snuck" which is now becoming the common usage here.
The problem with the "keepers of the language" here is that they quickly cave in to colloquial or common usage. If it's not in the dictionary just wait until the next edition.
"Oriented" will soon be replaced by "orientated," I fear.
Iparticularlylike "spitting feathers" for really thirsty!
The richness of the Welsh language never ceases to astonish me.
Mae godidowgrwydd yr Iaith Gymraeg fy syfrdanu fi'n ddi-baid.
spit1 n. [-]
1.Dom.Ec: cigwainf(cigweiniau), brmf(berau), gwaellf(gweyll) 2.Geog:(of land): tafodm(tafodau)(under water): traethellf(traethellau), cefnm(cefnau) counter spit gwrthdafodm(gwrthdafodau) curved spit tafod crwm hooked spit tafod bachog
spit2 v.t. [-]
1.(meat etc.): cigweinio, beru, gwanu 2. to spit someone on a sword gwanu rhywun chleddyf, trywanu rhywun chleddyf
spit3 n. [-]
1.(=saliva): poerm, poerynm, poer[i]adm(poer[i]adau), poeri v.n. (he's) the very spit [and image] (of his father), (he's) the dead spit (of his father)F: (mae)'r un ffunud/wyneb/anadliad/poerad ('i dad),S: (mae e)'r un big ('i dad),N: (mae o)'r un sbit/brintan ('i dad) spit and polishF: eli (m) penelin 2.(of rain): diferynm(diferion), pigiadm(pigiadau)
spit4 v.t. & i. [-]
poeri(of pen): gollwng(of fire, candle): clecian, poeri it's spitting [with] rain mae hi'n pigo bwrw, mae hi'n taflu dafnau spit it out!F: N: allan fo/hi!,S: mas ag e/hi! I'm spitting feathersF: 'rwy' bron thagu [gan syched]
spit5 n.(=spadeful): [-]
Jack, I don't have a copy of the statute but those are the very words used when my grandfather explained it to me many years ago.
3:30 am this morning does sound redundant ...but even that word carries more than one meaning between U.S. and UK English.
You and the Wolfman may not be related but you do share a similar sense of humor.
Jack, having grown-up in the pre-digital age, I am familiar with all the variations you cite as the UK versions of telling time. We regularly used and interchanged all those terms when telling time here, too. The one exception: Five and twenty past four. While everyone would have understood what that meant it would have been considered "Sunday School" English, or King James English.
The terms "top of the hour" and "bottom of the hour" date back to at least the nineteenth century with the adoption of "Standard Time." This was precipitated by a head-on collision between two passenger trains in New England claiming many, many lives. Prior to that disaster railways operated on disparate clock settings based on their city of origin. Each community in America kept its own time by using an "official town observer" who daily marked the apogee of the Sun's trek across the sky. The town clock was then set (or reset) at 12:00 o'clock noon accordingly. Everyone in town then set their pocket watches to the town clock. The idea of Standard Time was staunchly resisted at first but eventually prevailed.
In addition to "Standard Time" the nation adopted time zones. All railway employees (from engineer, to janitor, to porter, to conductor) were required by law to carry "authorized" time pieces and twice each hour--at the top of the "hour" and atbottom of the "hour"--the driver/engineer was required to blow the train's whistle and every employee---without exception--was required to stop whatever they were doing to check and if necessary synchronize their time pieces. The law's generic reference to the "hour" was substituted for the actual hour toaccommodate the disparate time zones.
When I was a kid I listened to "Wolfman Jack" every night on the radio. He played rock 'n roll! He always gave the time as "twenty before the hour or twenty after the hour." The big question in high school or at the malt shop afterwards was "Where is the Wolfman?" A lot of kids thought he might be local DJ but I knew that couldn't be because I listened to him on XERF from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico a 100.000 watt AM station. It turns out that he was in the basement of his home in Southern California "broadcasting" to a lone reel-to-reel tape recorder. After the "broadcast" the tapes were quickly reproduced then taken across the border into Mexico and driven by car to each of the 100.000 watt stations located along the U.S./Mexican border stretching across three U.S. time zones. Adding to his stealth, the Wolfman never mentioned current events (i.e. news) or the weather. This was designed to keep his whereabouts cloaked but he inadvertently created a whole new genre of "feel good, good times" rock 'n roll!
I've given John Edwards' 'Wenglish' book to my friend Jim, in Richmond. He's taken it to heart and started using it at work. His friends are completely confused by him- which gives him great pleasure. He started with "Be there in a minute" and lately told a colleague that he'd have his coffee "in his hand". The colleague actually thought he wanted it poured over his hand.
Let's all do our bit to get "Wenglish" as the national language of North America.
Long live Wenglish.
You know I've often thought American intellectuals sound as if they're trying to overcome a speech impediment like "stuttering"--which is exactly why Jimmy Stewart spoke that way!
I'm often amazed when listening to a British actor trying to sound like a Yank. At times it's embarrassing, but not as much, I'm sure, as Brits feel when they hear Dick Van Dyke trying to speak with a cockney accent. I even feel like crawling under a rock when I hear him!
But Hugh Laurie (a.k.a. Bertie Wooster) nails it every time. He's incredible!Vivien Leigh was also incredible at sounding like a Yank (no offense to Scarlet Ohara - who was a Johnny Reb).
So a cross between Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart then? I think I'll stick to what I know - I already make concessions like calling a pavement a sidewalk when I'm there (not that I've been for quite a while).
I don't know if you ever watched Frasier but Daphne's brother (played by Anthony LaPaglia who is Australian and has lived in the US for years) had an accent that veered from Lancashire to Melbourne to the East End and back via Los Angeles and heaven knows where else. Roz said once "oh, doesn't he sound like Prince Charles"!!
I think the voters of Massachusetts forgot about it every six years.
Actually, if one modifies one's speech by substituting an "ah" sound for "R" and converting "R" when it must be pronounced to a "ra" or "re" sound; then appending an "er" sound to all words ending in "a" you will sound as if you're a very educated person in America. The only other thing you need to remember is to insert long pauses into your sentences as you're speaking--filling the vacant spaces with a drawn out "uhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound--as though you're contemplating and weighing every nuance of what you're about to say and the majority of Americans will think you're an intellectual.
Now there's an example where I use the American pronunciation. Same goes for "herbivore;" I pronounce it ur-bi-vore. I do remember, however, asking Miss Estes, my first grade teacher, why if it is "erb" do we spell it "herb." She didn't know. So blame it on the American educational system.
Ah, now you are talking about football commentators who are a different species! LOL.
My father's sister, who used to work on the telephones in the old Post Office (before it split up into BT and PO) called it the POST OFFice, with the emphasis on both "post" and "off" - most peculiar! And a friend of the family who moved house, gave her address as "Camb-r-eye-an Place" when she meant Cambrian. My mother and I just looked at each other.
In the northeast, particularly around Boston, R's are held in low esteem unless at the beginning of a word--so if you must pronounce it--convert it to a "ra" sound. They are capable of pronouncing the "R" sound because they append it to most words which ending with the letter "a."
Regarding "Laboratory" I've always used the "British" pronunciation (though I didn't consider it a British pronunciation) as does my wife, daughter and granddaughter.
The same goes for "Lavatory." I remember a coarse bar soap called "Lava" when I was a kid and I knew the verb "Lavar" in Spanish meant "to wash." "Lava" in Latin derived Spanish means "you, he, shewash(es)." So to me--from the time I was a little kid--the word "lavatory" meant a place where you wash or bathe--not necessarily a toilet or ty bach.
I regarded the more common American pronunciations of "laboratory" and "lavatory" as one of those elitist "eastern seaboard" pronunciations. I was amazed as a kid hearing JFK pronounce America as "Amer-i-ker" and Cuba as "Cu-ber." But when an "R" was actually present in a word he pronounced it as "ah," as in "I'm going to a picnic in the P-ah-k o-vah by Hah-vahd.
It's true that words ending in "tory" tend to be pronounced "tree" or something close to it.
I don't know anyone who pronounces "contributed, distributed and electricity" in the way you've put it under British. Everyone pronounces them as you have them under American. You are so right about the mispronunciation of Secretary and February - really gets on my nerves!!
I remember some years ago, when I was working for chartered surveyors, a girl at another firm rang up and asked me about one of our properties at St Katharine's Quay and she pronounced "quay" as "kway"! It took me a moment to figure out what she meant.
There is definitely a "pecking order" in the five boroughs of NYC. Manhattan-eese, like the surrounding skyscrapers, towers over the other inferior dialects in the outer boroughs. But those residents needn't feel slighted because there's always New "Joy-zee" to ridicule.
On another note: I think fellow Missourian, Samuel Clemens a.k.a Mark Twain,was a master at writing accents into his literary yarns. From Huckleberry Finn to Joan of Arc. In my opinion, that is a very hard thing to "pull-off." Emily Bronte also comes to mind when she recorded the Yorkshire accent in Wuthering Heights.
In my experience "either" is frequently pronounced "ee-ther" and "neither" is more often pronounced "nye-ther" except when used in certain phrases.
In NYC the Boroughs (especially Queens and Brooklyn) have distinct accents as well as those inferior citizens across the Hudson in New "Joy-zee" and beyond.
Let's see Fred and Ginger arguing it out:
I've heard about that too. Supposedly, it's especially popular in New York City. I predict that it will come to an abrupt end when they discover what the British slang for "cigarette" is or what the meaning of "buggery" is. Those words would never do in this brave new world of political correctness.
Very interesting link John. I think the debate on this will run on and on. It occurred to me that in the nautical reference 'seaboard' is similar to 'starboard' which comes from 'steerboard' the right hand side of a ship. The eastern seaboard is the right hand side of America.
I saw an article at the weekend which said that Americans are now using British slang/words like "love" (as in, "how are you, love?") and "ring" where they would normally say "call". Apparently "suck it and see" is becoming popular but they see sexual overtones where there are none! I suppose it's the Downton Abbey Effect - I haven't watched it since the first series, having become infuriated by the anachronistic language.
This is interesting/ Hyn sy'n ddiddorol
Thanks Harold, I thought there must be another meaning or implied term rather than just the simple straightforward interpretation that it means coast.
I suspected that it meant a specific region of the Eastern coast as it was obvious from the TV coverage that it was the area you describe. Previously, I always though it might have been something to do with the major towns and cities on the east coast like Atlantic City that feature a boardwalk, as though the eastern seaboard was the group of towns and cities with a boardwalk on the east coast and it was unique to that area and typical of towns and cities in that specific region making them distinct in that respect.
Seaboard isnt a word that is commonly used in Britain which is odd considering we are an island race and surrounded by coast. We would always say coast or coastal.
Excellent explanation Harold.
Christopher, as Jack said, the term "seaboard" simply means "coast." So, technically, the "Eastern Seaboard" would mean all states bordering the Atlantic from the Southern tip of Florida to the Northern border between Maine and Canada.
However, there's a secondary implied meaning usually limited to political discussions. What many commentators mean when say the "Eastern Seaboard" is a relatively small, but densely populated region of the country beginning just north of Boston,Massachusettsthen proceeding south along the coast to somewhere just south of Washington D.C. This area is home to some of the nation's oldest, largest cities.
Been watching the election coverage here in the UK. They kept referring to the 'eastern sea board' or at least I think that is what they were saying. I know that what they are referring to are the states on the east coast of America that border the Atlantic, but why is it called the 'eastern sea board?
A long long time ago (1970) when i first went back after spending ten years in Canada - they picked me out by saying "You're guessing again!" So instead of saying I suppose, I would say I guess!
For me the biggest difference is in the soft mutation of the letter T. T here is only pronounced if it is the first letter is a word so Oddawa or Seaddle (rhymes with skeedadle) and Torono which leave the second t out completely. I wonder if dentistry was so rudimentary in colonial days that people had no teeth left?
A great posting John (and Jack).
The "Woad" initially gave the ancient Britons advantage over the heavily armored Romans. At least, as I remember Caesar's account, when his troops first attempted to disembark, the impatient Briton "Welsh" defenders had waded chest deep into the water and easily prevailed against heavily weighted Romans who were attempting to wade ashore. Eventually Caesar was forced to wait for the tide and the wind to run his ships aground giving his men a chance to jump to dry ground.
On the True Meaning of "British"
By John Good
For some time I have found myself wanting to interrupt people when I hear them use the terms "Britain" and "British". Celtic people in general, and expatriates in particular, are anxious for others to be aware of the pride they feel in their ancestry and, to this end, I will try to set the record (as it appears to me) straight. I'll weigh in with the heavyweights: the university professors.
The dictionary tells us that 'British' comes from Middle English 'Bruttische', Old English 'Brettisc', Saxon 'Brettas'; a form of Latin 'Britannia'; originally of Celtic origin, akin to Welsh 'Brython' (Briton). We also learn that the "Brythonic" (British) group of languages includes Breton, Cornish (fighting extinction at the moment), and Welsh (fighting each other for centuries??). They are all descendants of the Celtic language of the ancient Britons of Caesar's day."
Joseph Shipley (Dictionary of Word Origins) goes further, saying, "The British draw their name from Celtic (Welsh) 'brython', meaning tattooed." In fact the modern Welsh word for a Pict (ancient inhabitant of Scotland) is still 'Brithwr'; 'brithyll' is a speckled trout and 'brithwaith' is a mosaic; all related to the word 'brith', meaning 'spotted'.
Oliver Padel, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic (University of Cambridge), wrote to tell me pretty much the same thing, that 'Britain' came from 'Britannia', Greek 'Pretannikoi' and before that Celtic 'Prydein' (Modern Welsh 'Prydain'). While Anthony Harvey, Editor, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources (Royal Irish Academy), added that "a B rather than a P [is found in Latin] because that is how the Romans heard it when they came -- thence generating the Latin word 'Britannia', which was then borrowed back into Celtic -- the word "British" has been (in reverse order) English, Celtic, Latin, Celtic."
'Prydain' could also be traced back to Pryderi, a son of 'Rhiannon' (Pagan, Welsh Goddess). He became 'Lord of Dyfed' (South West Wales) and "under an enchantment he was trapped in the Otherworld (Annwn)." Down through Welsh history, there have been many Pryderis, some real some mythical but more on this later.
To sum up: "A Briton was a Celt who arrived on the island perhaps beginning as early as the 7th or 6th century BC and undoubtedly mixed with (stone age) aborigines".
At the same time, the Irish were doing something very similar in what was to become Erin and would be known as Gaels. In Ireland they spoke Gaelic, in Wales/Britain Brythonic (Early Welsh).
Caesar's invasion (55 BC) was intended to prevent the Britons from aiding their kinsmen in Gaul. Julius writes in the third person. "And so it was about 10 a.m. when Caesar arrived off Britain with the leading ships. Armed men could be seen stationed on all the heights, and the nature of the place was such, with the shore edged by sheer cliffs, that missiles could be hurled onto the beach from the top. Caesar considered this a totally unsuitable place for disembarkation, and waited at anchor till 3 p.m."
Later we find his famous and rare description of the inhabitants: "Most Britons are dyed by blue woad and this makes them look fiercer as warriors. They have long hair and shave everywhere except their heads and moustaches." Yes, the Britons fought in their "birthday suites"!
Other than the Picts in Scotland, these 'Britanni', as he calls them, were the only inhabitants of what is now Britain. 'Britannia' means 'beyond the sea' in Latin and Claudius, the island's final conqueror, even called his son Britannicus, in honor of his victory.
The Saxons (English) began to arrive in the fifth century and, about AD 540, St. Gildas wrote his 'The Ruin of Britain' (De Excidio Britanniae). Despite being educated in Wales, he had nothing good to say about us and even less about the Saxons. The Venerable Bede wrote "A History of the English Church and People" circa 731. As the title suggests, he was pro-Saxon and even more prejudiced against his British neighbors in Wales, Cornwall and the north of England.
During this period, Brynley Roberts tells us "the duty of the poets as a learned class [was] to conserve and transmit the traditional history of the Welsh [making] references to elusive characters like Prydain fab Aedd, probably an eponymous founder of Britain."
Ceri Lewis is quite specific: "Entirely different in mood is 'The Prophecy of Britain' (Armes Prydain), a poem of just under 200 lines written around 930, probably by a member of a monastic community in south Wales who was bitterly opposed to the policy pursued by his king, Hywel Dda (Howel the Good, no relation to the writer), of recognizing the overlordship of the king of England, of living on peaceful terms with the English, and of paying an oppressive annual tribute of gold, silver, cattle, hounds and hawks.
Negotiations were in progress between certain of the Celtic and Norse inhabitants of the British Isles -- the Irish, the Danes of Dublin, and the peoples of Wales, Scotland, Strathclyde, Cornwall and Brittany (a British colony in N.W. France), with a view to forming a pan-Celtic coalition that might resolutely oppose the aggressive policy of Athelstan. On one of his coins and in many of his charters he is proudly described as 'King of the English and ruler of all Britain'."
"In forest, in field, in hill, in dale/ A candle will march for us in darkness/ Cynan leading the charge in each assault/ Saxons will sing their lamentations before the Britons." (From the Prophecy of Britain.) The last line in Welsh reads "Saesson rac Brython gwae a genyn" and "Saeson" (Saxon) is still the Welsh word for an Englishman. Cynan is the 'son of prophecy' (mab darogan), who will return from the past to lead this Celtic federation under the banner of Saint David. Unfortunately, in 937, Athelstan won a decisive victory at Brunanburh.
Even the Irish got into the "British" sweepstakes: "All of them (Nemedians) the sea engulphed/ Save only three times ten." (Poem by Eochy 0' Flann, c. 960.) Britan, their chief, settled in Britain, giving his name to the country; while two others returned to Ireland, after many wanderings, as the Firbolgs and People of Dana. If this is true, "British" is Irish in origin!
Fireballs and Frenchmen
1066 saw the appearance of Haley's comet and Norman troops in Hastings. Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose History of the Kings of Britain (Historia Regum Britanniae) appeared about 1136, claimed that Brutus, great-grandson of Aeneas, was the first king of Britain. Brutus came from the Mediterranean and was said to have led the enslaved Trojans to the Island of Albion, as it was known; suggesting that the original Britons were from Troy. Brutus is reported to have defeated many giants including 'Gog' and 'Magog', "then called the island Britain from his own name, and his companions he called Britons. His intention was that his memory should be perpetuated. A little later the language of the people, which had up to then been known as Trojan or Crooked Greek, was called British, for the same reason." All this was taken, according to the author, from an "old book in the British language". But mythical or not, the Historia filled a gap in British history; providing the Normans with a history of their adopted land, confirmation of their superiority, and the Welsh their first coherent history of themselves.
Geoffrey ended his book with the comment that he was leaving the history of the "English" to fellow-historians William of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon.
Of more recent times, the superb historian John Davies tells us: "In 1577, John Dee, a London Welshman, claimed that King Arthur had won a vast empire in the north Atlantic, and that the voyages of Madog ... had confirmed the title of the Welsh to those territories. By the age of Elizabeth, he asserted, they were under the sovereignty of the queen as successor to the Welsh princes. It was Dee, it would appear, who coined the term British Empire -- British in the sense of Brythonic.
Gwyn A. Williams, in his uniquely provocative way, has argued that it is fitting that the term was coined by a Welshman. Inventing the British Empire would be a sufficient source of pride or shame..."
Elizabeth 1st was fond of the Welsh. Her grandfather, Henry 7th had spoken the language and was crowned on Bosworth Field mainly because of the heroism of soldiers from Wales: the land of his birth. That day was also the first, recorded occasion when the modern Welsh flag -- the Red Dragon -- led an army to victory.
I'll give the last word to Antone Minard, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (Center for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies). "'British' and 'Welsh' was the same thing until the 1800's, but it hasn't been for centuries. Now, I hear people (even people from Wales) saying 'British', meaning people from England only!"
So if you see any naked, tattooed, blue Welsh people wandering around the neighborhood, be kind to them, they might be Ancient Britons.
I can't believe Sherlock is called Elementary in the US. Conan Doyle is probably spinning in his grave. For me, Peter Cushing was the best Sherlock Holmes in 70's BBC version.
One thing that has always amused me is the way American's say it when they talk about our English pub's. They pronounce it 'Pahb' or something like that. It's PUB ! Rhyme it with 'thud'. Another one is the way they say 'Birmingham' the town in Alabama. They say it in 'My cousin Vinny' and it always makes me laugh.
All I can say is 'vive la difference'
I'll be interested to hear more comments about "Elementary", Harold. Miller is a good friend of Benedict Cumberbatch who plays "Sherlock" here in the UK (and is going to be a baddie in the new Star Trek movie). I like "Sherlock" and B Cumberbatch is a terrific actor (see also "Parade's End") but no one is as good as Jeremy Brett was as Sherlock Holmes (or Edward Hardwicke as Watson, come to that). You should have a look at "Revenge" as it's a sort of Count of Monte Cristo transplanted to The Hamptons with a girl instead of a man - it's now, I think, in its second season in the US although we are coming to the end of the first season.
Well, I have a DVR but I wouldn't use it to watch "Dancing with the Stars."
Basically, aside from our local news, we really watch only two American television programs: "Castle" and the new CBS program "Elementary" (Sherlock Holmes in New York City). The latter I thought I would hate--but it's actually quite good.
We mostly watch Netflix and Acorn TV streamed to our HDTV. We pick and choose without those annoying commercials.
There's also "yet" used at the end of a sentence but perhaps not so much these days.
Looking back at this long conversation, "pudding" is a word used for "dessert", nothing to do with fruitcake (which is eaten at tea-time or at picnics). Also, in Britain, we have pudding/dessert (followed by cheese if you have room in your belly!) and then we have coffee - not both together. One might have coffee with petit fours instead of pudding/cheese, of course.
We have the equivalent, "Strictly Come Dancing" which I don't watch but cannot get away from in the newspapers and on Twitter! I do know that most of our celebrities are well-known people that I recognise (Victoria Pendleton the Olympic cyclist has been taking part). I like "Castle", it's fun. I'm hooked on "Revenge" at the moment!
I am a pop culture moron. I've heard the word "innit" but had/have no idea what it means. We have a television program called "Dancing with the Stars" which purportedly is a dancing contest featuring "Stars" paired with dancing instructors. They dance together in a competition. The thing is, I usually see the last 2 or 3 minutes of the program because I always tune in to watch the program "Castle" which follows. The thing is: I can never discern who is the "Star" and who is the instructor. I rarely know any of them.
"Aluminum" [ah-LOOM-ih-num] in the still the correct spelling in American English when speaking of a product made primarily from the element "Aluminium." Aluminum, as a product, is usually an alloy containing Aluminium [Ai] and various other elements including copper and magnesium for example.
However, when speaking of the element Aluminium [Al] on the Periodic Chart--the most common pronunciation in American English is owl-you-MIN-i-um followed by ow-loo-MIN-i-um.
Valid point! Actually I like some rap (Plan B for example and Sway) when it's making some intelligent point but not the stuff about "bitches" and "hos" (does that have an "e" in it, by the way?). The point I was trying to make (diplomatically!) is that using "innit" in England is like calling your girlfriend your "baby-mama".
Thanks for that Ceridwen. I have a book somewhere on my shelves by lovely Bill Bryson about the changes of language from Britain to America (and vice versa) and must try to find it. "Innit" with a "t" has now become associated here in England with rap culture, for want of a better term.
Actually, 'aluminum' was the original name. The British changed it to match other elements, such as Beryllium, though platinum has the -um spelling, too. The discoverer of the metal base wanted to go with something even more different, alumium, while the Romans called the aluminum salts they used, alum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium#History
I must disagree....admittedly the silent 't' is a Kairdiff phenomenon BUT I have heard same in Swansea, Aberdare, Merthyr and up the Rhondda SO I contend that the dictionary is behind the times. Wenglish has moved on
Now that I recall...when I was a student teacher in Swansea all my students pronounced inni without the t. Thus demonstrating their grasp of euphony and audial ( ordeal? ) aesthetics
Um, I would never suggest anyone use the expression "innit" unless they are wearing expensive trainers, low-rise loose jogging pants/jeans, matching sweatshirt and a baseball cap worn with the peak to the side - get my drift?
Also "argument" does not have an "e" in it in the UK any more than in the US!
One word I've been reminded of (by a newish TV commercial here in the UK) is "aluminium" (please note the pronunciation: AL-YEW-MIN-EE-UM). The joke in the TV ad is that the American pronounces it "AL-OO-MIN-UM" of course while the British guy pronounces it using the second "i".
As stated above, the noun "licence" (Br.) is "license" in America but we have the word "license" as a verb - the "s" shows that it's a verb rather than a noun (as in "licensed to kill") and the same goes for "practice" (noun) and "practise" (verb).
I have files from my computer, my phone, my iPod, my children's phones, and Facebook, to name most. They all use slightly different systems. To keep consistent, I type in the date myself. The American system, numerical or alphabetical, allows me to keep photos by month. If I had to keep all of those different file-naming systems in mind, I'd go crazy.
Have never been anyplace east of Maine or west of Vancouver, WA. I lead a satisfyingly boring life.
But, the American system works best for grouping pics (or correspondence, or paperwork, or etc.,) by date - the 30th of September doesn't follow the 29th of June - all September, or 09, pics are grouped together. I have six grandkids, with two children who post their kids' pics to FB in huge dumps. Picture grouping in file folders is essential.
10 September, 2011, was a Saturday. October 9, 2011, was a Sunday. Either way, I probably had homework due. (Also, Military dates are day, month year, except for paperwork purposes, when they're year, month, day.)
And to pronounce 'mobile'--
One of those sz/swords--organizatio/organisation
Oh, and don't forget:
pudding--??? fruitcake is as close as I can come, but they are not the same thing
jelly--jello (I think)
Biscuits - cookies
Shortbread - biscuits
Crumpet - English muffin
Rise - raise (paycheck)
Defence - defense
Offence - offense
"S" in place of "Z" in some words (I can usually rattle a few off but, have a brain cramp.)
British uses more -st words - amongst, amidst, whilst - while American tends to use only the non-st forms: among, amid, while. I hear there's a slight difference in meaning. Don't know what it is.
American English vs. British English. What are the differences? This discussion came about as a result of an AC chat box discussion about which Welsh version of the word milk (lleath South or llefrith North) you prefer to use. I am not sure that we had much agreement either way. At the end of the day, it can be concluded that while there are some differences in the varying dialects of Welsh (mainly North vs. South), they can understand each other. When I brought up the question of whether or not American English was that much different than British English, Swansea Jack quickly pointed out a number of words used in American English that are different that the word used in Britain (e.g. AE Truck, BE Lorry).
After digging a little deeper into the topic, I have identified the following differences.
British English American English
articulated lorry trailer truck
block of flats apartment building
boot (car) trunk
chips fries, French fries
crisps potato chips
gearbox (car) transmission
lorry truck, semi, tractor
mad crazy, insane
naughts and crosses tic-tack-toe
petrol gas, gasoline
underground (train) subway
wallet wallet, billfold
wellington boots rubber boots, rain boots
whisky whiskey, scotch
British English American English
American English drops e from suffix and British English keeps the e
British English American English
There are some differences in sentence structure as well. However, I am not all that well versed in the difference. I need some help here.
Nevertheless, share what you know about the differences between British and American English. Do you prefer one over the other? Is one version better than the other. Please comment on the differences that you know exist.