The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Thanks, arnie. I took it. Many of those terms were in this article that I posted about, but couldn't post online because you had to buy the Wall Street Journal in order to see it (and I blame no one for not wanting to buy it! )
Weird thing. There were, obviously, many terms that I have never heard, but for the ones that I was familiar with I often couldn't decide on whether I say them or not. This was true of even quite common terms. For example to I ever actually say "ATM" or do I always use "cashpoint"?
Also there are some that were were in my vocabulary growing up because they were in my parents' vocabulary but which I never use now. An example would be "settee" which was what we always called the sofa but I don't recall using it for a long time now.
I'm dubious about the value of self-reporting because I don't think we can, no matter how well-intentioned, do it accurately.
All the same it was interesting to olook through all those weird and wonderful variations.
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
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I agree, Bob. Some of them I just wasn't sure which I say. For example, I think I should call them athletic shoes, but I probably call them gym shoes or tennis shoes, which don't make sense at all really.