Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Potpourri    Cultural differences
Page 1 2 3 4 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Cultural differences Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
I believe it's in his book "The Fallacy of Race" that Ashley Montagu wrote, "If tomorrow morning all the people in the world awoke to discover that our skin is all the same color, by noon we would find some other reason to hate each other."

How about eye color?

Everyone knows that we blue-eyed people are smarter, wiser, more virtuous, .... than the brown-eyed people, right?

(( or is it the other way around? ))
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of WinterBranch
posted Hide Post
quote:
How about eye color?

Everyone knows that we blue-eyed people are smarter, wiser, more virtuous, .... than the brown-eyed people, right?

(( or is it the other way around? ))


That was an amazing experiment, Jerry. Wink

Did you ever see the documentary where she redid it with adults? How quickly we can all turn evil.
 
Posts: 222 | Location: TexasReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
Yes, Winterbranch, That's Jane Elliott's Brown-Eye-Blue-Eye Exercise.

Remarkable, indeed.
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Just call me Switzerland...

Ros (proud possessor of hazel eyes!)
 
Posts: 185 | Location: London, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Hic et ubique
posted Hide Post
Ros, you've inspired a poem!
 
Posts: 1204Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Thank you! No-one's ever written a poem about me before!

Ros

PS - actually, that's not quite true. No-one's written a good poem about me before. The less said about my great-aunt's poetry, the better...
 
Posts: 185 | Location: London, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
I hate for my first post to be confusing but I think in the experiment above I would be stoned to death by both sides.
My right eye is as blue as a summer sky....my left eye on the other hand is brown.
On second thought I might be made the Grand Poobah!
 
Posts: 1 | Location: MarylandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Welcome Rox!

Nice to have another member.

Ros (which sounds quite similar to Rox, I notice...)
 
Posts: 185 | Location: London, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Hic et ubique
posted Hide Post
Welcome to our crazy world, Rox! Some of us sometimes feel schizoid³ too!

[And by the way, I'm referring to definition 3 only! Eek]
 
Posts: 1204Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Yes, Welcome, Rox! Wink Big Grin Smile Roll Eyes Cool

It is nice to have someone from Maryland.

As for cultural differences, oy vey, having just returned from Europe, have I experienced some! One of the attendees at our conference, a very jolly German, tried to explain Europe to me by the following joke. Now, the "joke connoisseurs" have probably heard it, but just in case not:

Here is Heaven:
The Brits are the police
The Italians are the lovers
The Spanish cook the food
The Swiss are the organizers
The Germans are the mechanics

Here is Hell:
The Brits cook the food
The Italians are the organizers (you should see their airport--utter chaos!)
The Spanish are the mechanics
The Swiss are the lovers
The Germans are the police
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
It's a cliche and, like all cliches, has an element of truth. However, although we do not have the same religious awe about cooking as do, say, the French, British cartering is actually quite good and can be excellent.

London is probably one of the finest places in which to eat in the whole world - not least because of the vast range of different cuisines there are available.

And of course, in my version of Heaven the brewers would be British. In Hell they would be Italian.

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
For what it's worth, everyone else seems to rave about Italian food. I found it too fish oriented, even though I do like fish. Each course (and there were usually 6!) had all sorts of raw and cooked fish, from octopus to eel to mussels, to raw shrimp (still in the shell with the eyes staring at me Eek)

My question: I was sure this has been asked here before, but I couldn't locate it on a search. What are black people from other countries called? The politically correct phrase in the U.S. is African-American, though clearly not every black person is American. I met a lovely lady from Birmingham, England, at the conference. She was born in Jamaica, and her children were born in England. She has never been to America, and it would be ridiculous to call her "African-American." What is the term?
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
In the case of the lady from Birmingham the best phrase would probably be "Afro-Caribbean".
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
But, let's say you're completing a questionnaire that asks for ethnicities. Would that be there?
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
If you were completing a form in England, the answer is yes. The ethnic origin of quite a number of people in this country is the Caribbean. If it were not listed, there should be the ability to "write-in" the correct origin.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
I suspect that this is another manifestation of the insularity of the USA. There must be many "African-Americans" who actually came there from the Caribbean and thus should rightly be Afro-Caribbeans.

Similarly the portfolio term "Hispanic" could mean anyone with Spanish blood - and that could be from just about anywhere in the Americas except the USA and Canada - as well as Spain itself.

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Generally the new term for "Hispanics" in the U.S. is "Latinos"--though who knows if I have kept up with the latest change! I always seem to be behind the 8-ball with political correctness.

My daughter [amazingly "politically correct"!] was at luncheon where (horrors!) someone unwittingly called an Asian an "Oriental." According to my daughter, the whole table stopped, in a dead silence. It doesn't seem that many years ago when I was calling Asians "Orientals". Sheesh! It's hard to keep up with all this political correctness!
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
On Enrolment forms for our college the Question about ethnic background is as follows.

How would you describe your ethnic origin ? Please select one section and tick the appropriate box.

(NB - the bold type is heading and can't be checked, the italicised text shows the permitted selections)

Asian or Asian British
Bangladeshi_________Indian________Pakistani_________Other Asian Background______

Black or Black British
African____________Caribbean____________Other Black Background

Chinese
Chinese

Mixed
White and Asian_____________White and Black African________
White and Black Caribbean_________Other Mixed Background
Other Ethnic Group


White
British___________Irish___________Other White Background

--------------------------------------------------

Is it just me or does the way that these survey questions confuse nationality and ethnicity seem to everyone to border on the surreal?

Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Wow, I have seen a lot of questionnaires, but never one that comprehensive! The difference between British and Irish? Funny! Yes, I agree with you, Bob, about the ethnicity/nationality confusion. It almost reminds me of my readings of pre-World War II times--not a good reminder!

Now, yet one more cultural perplexity that I learned from Europe: Why oh why is your first floor our second floor? I cannot tell you how many times I got totally confused about that. Even the people explaining it to me said, "I don't know why we do it this way!"
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
Well, we only count floors that are built. A one-storey building is built on the ground and so there are no floors. A two-storey building has the ground and one floor is built above that, the first floor. And so on... Cool
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Today I was in an elevator and knew I wanted to go to the second floor. I kept pushing 2 and ending up in the basement.

The numbering was so odd that the lowest basement parking was 3, the sub-basement parking was 2, the street level parking was 1. Then the first floor was ML (Mall Level) and the second floor was UML (Upper Mall Level). Talk about confusing! Razz

Kalleh, if the first floor of a mall is the floor above ground level, would you call it the second or first floor? Confused
 
Posts: 1412 | Location: Buffalo, NY, United StatesReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Okay, Morgan, you've got me there. I would call it the first floor. Yet, in England they always call the second floor the first floor, and I think they call the first floor the zero floor, but I am not sure. I never heard it called the "ground" floor, though.

By the way, Brits, I wrote a letter to the London Times praising your city. However, I am sure the likelihood of its getting printed is slim to nil.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
It's always called that unless there's some special designation - say a hotel lobby or reception.

Even the buttons of the lift are usually marked "G"

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Oh, I missed that then. That does make more sense then. I will say, though, one elevator actually did have a 0 floor, and a 1st floor. Is there a word such as "0th"? Probably not.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
A one-storey building is built on the ground and so there are no floors.
There are no floors? However do you walk; whatever do you walk upon?
 
Posts: 1184Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
That's simple. You walk on the floor.

The word floor has several meanings, one of which is "storey" - the sense in which it was used in this comment:-)

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Hic et ubique
posted Hide Post
I wish that my Room had a Floor;
I don't so much care for a Door,
But this walking around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be quite a bore.
-Gelett Burgess
 
Posts: 1204Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of C J Strolin
posted Hide Post
Or, in other words, Don't be a Goop!
 
Posts: 1517 | Location: Illinois, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Graham Nice
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Oh, I missed that then. That does make more sense then. I will say, though, one elevator actually did have a 0 floor, and a 1st floor. Is there a word such as "0th"? Probably not.


zero(e)th is used in Chemistry
 
Posts: 382 | Location: CambridgeReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of WinterBranch
posted Hide Post
CJ said
quote:
Or, in other words, Don't be a Goop!



The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives,
They spill their broth on the tablecloth-
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew,
And that is why I'm glad that I
Am not a Goop - are you?

Now, I finally know the name of the person that wrote that! Thanks guys!
 
Posts: 222 | Location: TexasReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
My kids had always watched "Friends", and I was a bit "holier than thou" about it. Then one day, I watched an episode and became hooked. Of course after I started watching it, they stopped! If mom likes it, it must be bad!

I have never seen "Coupling", but our newspaper had an interesting discussion, comparing it to "Friends". Now I must see it! The paper describes it as: "'Coupling' is no 'Friends'. It's got (sic)* the British accents, sure, and that brings an air of sophistication even to toilet humor; but it's nonetheless more crass, less clever and leaves you with a less clear sense of who its characters are outside of the bedroom."

Yet, I guess the American "Coupling" is worse. "In trimming the scripts...and 'Americanizing' the references (that's code for taking out the Aristotle and the slyness) and the cast (that's code for giving everyone perfect hair and teeth and a sledgehammer way of line reading), NBC and U.S. executive producer Phoef Sutton...have turned a so-so show into a stinker."

*"it's got"?????
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Hic et ubique
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Graham Nice:
zero(e)th is used in Chemistry


Checking, I find it's common terminology in computer programing, perhaps because lists are typcally numbered from 0 upward rather than from 1 upward. That leads to a new term: this sort of counting tends is said to reduce what programmers call "fencepost errors."

fencepost error - a problem with the discrete equivalent of a boundary condition, often exhibited in programs by iterative loops. [From the problem, "If you build a fence 100 feet long with posts 10 feet apart, how many posts do you need?" Either 9 or 11 is a better answer than the obvious 10.] For example, suppose you have a long list or array of items, and want to process items m through n; how many items are there? The obvious answer is n - m, but the right answer is one more than that.
 
Posts: 1204Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
I have watched the British version of Coupling a few times and never really thought it a patch on Friends. There is the superficial similarity in that the protagonists are a group of twenty-somethings, but I feel that Friends is far better. The characters are much better drawn in Friends, even if their lifestyle is outside my own experience (and that of most viewers, I suspect). The title of Coupling gives away the main preoccupation of the British series, whereas that of the American programme shows that there is less emphasis on sex.

I've not seen the American version of Coupling, and don't particularly want to; in my experience American remakes are a pale shadow of the original. Of course, they are not aimed at me, anyway.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
Ugly and frowned upon by purists although it's probably grammatically accurate.

It is also unecessary since the meaning would be perfectly expressed by the phrase "it has".

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
Ugly and frowned upon by purists although it's probably grammatically accurate.

It is also unecessary since the meaning would be perfectly expressed by the phrase "it has".

Richard English


Perhaps, but as an ESOL teacher I have to point out that without exception every EFL and ESOL text book that I've seen teaches both

I have/you have/he has

and

I've got/you've got/he's got.

In many parts of England - where I live for example - it's much more common to say "He's got a car" than "He has a car" or "It's got no flavour" than "It has no flavour." In fact it's so much more common that the purer form is almost never heard at all.

ESOL in particaular teaches descriptive grammar rather than prescriptive grammar.

What would be the use of teaching a Somalian refugee that people say "He has a lovely house" whn five seconds lisening to people will tell them I'm lying and that everyone says "He's got a lovely house" ?

Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Hmmm, this thread has a lot of subjects for me to respond to. First, Hic, we have just been discussing signposting in another thread, so it was funny to see fenceposting!

quote:
in my experience American remakes are a pale shadow of the original
With a few exceptions, Arnie, I agree with you. I know that I loved the remake of "Twelve Angry Men". Can anyone think of some other good remakes?

Lastly, Bob and Richard, I guess I am behind the grammar times. I thought that "it's" is a contraction for "it is". Is it also a contraction for "it has"? Even if it is, surely it is not grammatically correct to say "it has got", is it? Confused
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Lastly, Bob and Richard, I guess I am behind the grammar times. I thought that "it's" is a contraction for "it is". Is it also a contraction for "it has"? Even if it is, surely it is not grammatically correct to say "it has got", is it? Confused


quote:
'Have got' and 'has got' are often used instead of the present tense of have when talking about possession. The forms of have behave like auxiliaries when used like this before got. 'Had got' is sometimes used when referring to the past but 'had' is often used instead.

I've got an umbrella.
She's got a degree.
He'd got over fifty horses.


Collins Cobuild English Grammar


I can't quote the bit about contractions directly because it's summarized in a table and I have no idea how to post a table here so you'll just have to take my word that the third person singular for have for "he, she. it and singular noun groups" is listed as either has or 's.

quote:
D. got can be added to have/ have not/ have you etc. as shown above. It makes no difference to the sense so is entirely optional, but it is quite a common addition. got, however is not added in short answers or question tags:

Have you got an ice-axe? - Yes, I have.
She's got a nice voice, hasn't she ?

have (affirmative) followed by got is usually contracted:
I've got my ticket. He's got a flat in Pimlico.
The stress falls on got. The 've or 's is often barely audible.

A Practical Guide To English Grammar (Thomson & Martinet)


quote:
[]get 1. [/B] Have got for possess has long been good colloquial English, but its claim to be good literary English is not universally conceded. The OED calls it 'familiar', the COD 'colloquial'. It has, however, the authority of Dr. Johnson ('He has got a good estate; does not always mean that he has acquired, but barely that he possesses it), and has long been used by many good writers. Philip Ballard in a spirited defence, citing not only Johnson but also Shakespeare, Swift and Ruskin, concludes 'The only inference we can draw is that it is not a real error but a counterfeit invented by schoolmasters'.
Acceptance of this verdict is here recommended.

A Dictionaryof Modern English Usage (Fowler)


Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
1. It's is an abbreviation for both "it is" and "it has".

2. "It has got" (or it's got) is perfectly correct - it's the past perfect tense of the verb "to get", and in that construction it has the meaning "to possess").

As I said, though, purists dislike the construction although, as Bob says, it is very common.

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
As I said, though, purists dislike the construction although, as Bob says, it is very common.

Richard English


So common in fact that in many areas it has all but driven out the "I have a car" usage which to many ears now sounds old fashioned and a little pompous.

Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I guess the grammar purists live in the U.S. and not England Wink.

I agree with you that "It's got" is common. I just have never thought it was grammatically accurate. Many common sayings are grammatically inaccurate.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
One thing which we should never forget is the difference between the written and the spoken word. Expressions which are common in the ephemeral spoken word will not do in the written one.

The written word is, by its nature, fixed until it is deliberately erased; the spoken word is, by its nature transitory unless it is specifically recorded.

Thus written words can be re-examined, studied, edited and of course, citicised. Spoken words are taken as they are and rarely are their characteristics or deficiences even remarked upon.

So I would probably say, "I've got a car waiting" but I would write "I have a car waiting"

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Yes, I agree with you, Richard. I would probably say that, as well. When we had a discussion recently about "can I have a cup of coffee?", I was positive that I would never say that; it should be "may I....?" Yet, then I became more alert to my uses of "can" and found that, indeed, I did use it incorrectly.

Now, last night I was talking with an English professor, and I posed the "I got" question to him. He said that clearly "I got" is grammatically wrong. It should be "today I get, yesterday I got, and many times I have gotten."
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Yes, I agree with you, Richard. Recently we had a question about the use of "Can I have a cup of coffee?" I said that I would only say, "May I have..." Well, then I listened to myself, and, indeed, found that I said, "Can I have a...", though I would not write that.

Last night I met an English professor, so I posed the "I've got" question to him. He said that clearly "I've got" is grammatically incorrect. You should say, "Today I get, yesterday I got, and many times I have gotten."

While we use the phrase "I've got" in speech, it isn't grammatically correct.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:

Last night I met an English professor, so I posed the "I've got" question to him. He said that clearly "I've got" is grammatically incorrect. You should say, "Today I get, yesterday I got, and many times I have gotten."

While we use the phrase "I've got" in speech, it isn't grammatically correct.


Ah well, this one is actually a genuine US/UK difference. Originally the use of "gotten" was common in the UK but while it has been retained in the US it is certainly now considered archaic and ungrammatical here.
Most people (well those who don't know much about the history of English anyway) would consider it to be an Americanism. To those of us who know better it is as archaic as "thee" and "thou" and sounds just as wrong if anyone uses it.

"gotten" ?

Not in England !

I get, I got, I have got.

I'd venture as far as to say that you will never hear an Englishman say "I have gotten".

Your professor is right insofar as US English is concerned but wrong on this side of the Atlantic.

As for the use of "I've got" to indicate possession rather than acquisition - it's been common here for at least five hundred years and I'd say that with that weight of history on its side, pedants notwithstanding, it has to be considered grammatical.

In fact if anyone says "I have got a car." I defy any UK member of this board to say with hand on heart that they would take this to mean "I have acquired a car" rather than "I own a car."

It just isn't used that way any more.

Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
I've Got A Crush On You - George & Ira Gershwin ( 1927 )
I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo - Harry Warren & Mack Gordon ( 1942 )
I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts - Fred Heatherton ( 1944 )
I've Got The Music In Me - Bias Boshell ( 1974 )
I've Got The Sun In The Morning - Irving Berlin ( 1946 )
I've Got The World On A String - Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler( 1933 )
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Irving Berlin ( 1937 )
I've Got You Under My Skin - Cole Porter ( 1936 )
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
I suggest that both "I got" and "I've got" are grammatically correct constructions although they can, of course, be misused.

"I got" is the past imperfect tense of "to get"; "I have (or I've) got is its past perfect.

"I got my reward" means that at some time in the past you received a reward.

"I have got my reward" implies that you have received it in some sort of specific way or time.

The difference between past perfect and past imperfect is sometimes difficult to explain, especially with a verb like "to get" which has so many meanings.

Sometimes it's clearer to use an irregular verb

"I go on vacation" (present) - it's something I do

"I went on vacation" (imperfect) - at some time that happened

"I have gone on vacation" (perfect) - it's an event that is concluded.

We wouldn't use one form for the other even though we might find it difficult to explain the subtle difference in meaning to one whose native tongue was not English.

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
quote:
Ah well, this one is actually a genuine US/UK difference.
The same English professor told me that contractions were really Americanisms for a long time. He said that the English frowned upon the use of "don't", etc., and that it is only recently that they have begun to use them. Now, I don't know him so well, having only met him once, so I don't know how valid his comments are.

As for the use of gotten, I have tried to think of when I would use it, Bob. I can only say that I couldn't come up with one sentence. It isn't that common here, either.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
quote:
Ah well, this one is actually a genuine US/UK difference.
The same English professor told me that contractions were really Americanisms for a long time. He said that the English frowned upon the use of "don't", etc., and that it is only recently that they have begun to use them.


I'm at work and don't have my reference books but this doesn't sound right to me. Contractions have always been part of common speech and all the way back to Chaucer and beyond English is littered with them.
Many consider (or at least did consider) them vulgar and common but they aren't really.

The only oddity I can think of is ain'twhich went from being polite English (never used by the lower classes) to falling out of favour in England but becoming universal in the US and is now wrongly considered by many over here to be an Americanism.

ain't ain't in common use here. Smile

Glaubt es mir - das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of C J Strolin
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
As for the use of _gotten_, I have tried to think of when I would use it, Bob. I can only say that I couldn't come up with one sentence. It isn't that common here, either.

I believe it's more common than you think.

How about "It's gotten much colder recently"?

Or "After living in the states for two years, R.E. admitted that he had gotten used to Budweiser." (heh, heh)
 
Posts: 1517 | Location: Illinois, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
"Ain't" ain't used much here, either. Wink

I was just writing someone an e-mail and without realizing it used "gotten".CJ is right; we probably use it more than I realize.

I wrote, "I hadn't really gotten to know him that well until...."
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Potpourri    Cultural differences

Copyright © 2002-12