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Picture of Richard English
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Highly improbable since I refuse to let a drop of that foul concoction pass my lips.

And considering that there are now several thousand excellent beers now available in the USA, I fail to see why any American of intelligence would want to consume that chemical fizz either.

Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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I have an application form about a possible workshop that I may attend at Oxford.

The wording had my assistant and I snickering a bit. Here are a few of the phrases that you wouldn't usually see here:

1) Please tick here if you require accommodation. "Tick" would just not be used that way here. We would say "check" or maybe "mark". I don't even know what "tick" means, used in that way, though I can figure it from the context. Also, we would say "accommodations".

2) On the top: Title; Surname; Forename. We may have "surname", but never "forename." Also, the U.K. seems a little taken with "titles." They asked me, when I went to a conference in Italy, to indicate my title. I didn't know what they meant, so I put "Director of Education." On my nametag then it said "Director of Education Kalleh", while on other women's badges it said, "Dr." or "Miss" or "Mrs."

3) These are just idiosyncratic differences, but interesting anyway: They talk about "venue"; we might say that, but more probably would say "place." They say the workshop will "commence" at 9am (hmmm! not 0900!), whereas we are more likely to say "begin."

4) Use of the word "enquiries", rather than "inquiries." I actually wondered if it had a different meaning, but it seems to just be a variant of "inquiries."

All this on a 2-page application!
 
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I have an application form about a possible workshop that I may attend at Oxford.

The wording had my assistant and I snickering a bit. Here are a few of the phrases that you wouldn't usually see here:

1) Please _tick_ here if you require accommodation. "Tick" would just not be used that way here. We would say "check" or maybe "mark". I don't even know what "tick" means, used in that way, though I can figure it from the context. Also, we would say "accommodations".




Tick is just the English word for what you call "check" in this context, i.e. a diagonal mark in the box, bottom left to top right. As an interesting sidenote we use a tick to mark answers right and a cross to mark answers wrong. In Japan I understand that they use a tick to mark answers wrong and a circle to mark the right. I discovered this when a Japanese girl at Harrow wanted to know why I had marked her correct answers as all wrong in an exercise.

As for accommodation vs accommodations it's just another of those US/UK things.

quote:


2) On the top: Title; Surname; Forename. We _may_ have "surname", but never "forename." Also, the U.K. seems a little taken with "titles." They asked me, when I went to a conference in Italy, to indicate my _title_. I didn't know what they meant, so I put "Director of Education." On my nametag then it said "Director of Education Kalleh", while on other women's badges it said, "Dr." or "Miss" or "Mrs."




Historically we would say Surname, Christian Name but of course in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith society that is considered inappropriate so "forename" has become the common substitute. Some forms nowadays say "Family Name" and "Forenames". I expect that to change too because it takes no account of religious or cast names such as Singh.

There is usually a multiple choice for title. What they are looking for is whatever you would normally write when putting down your name :- Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr, Sir, The Right Hon., etc.

quote:


3) These are just idiosyncratic differences, but interesting anyway: They talk about "venue"; we _might_ say that, but more probably would say "place." They say the workshop will "commence" at 9am (hmmm! not 0900!), whereas we are more likely to say "begin."




Most organisations would use venuerather than place because it's a little more specific in its meaning and a little more formal.
Commence instead of begin isn't uncommon but has no real justification. Begin or start would do just as well.

quote:


4) Use of the word "enquiries", rather than "inquiries." I actually wondered if it had a different meaning, but it seems to just be a variant of "inquiries."




enquire is probably the more common variant here but both are used.

quote:


All this on a 2-page application!


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: 8296 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
They say the workshop will "commence" at 9am (hmmm! not 0900!), whereas we are more likely to say "begin."

"Commence" has been around since the 14th century. I think it is fairly common down South. Can any Southerners verify that? I remember hearing it on old TV programs, such as "The Andy Griffith Show" (Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor, the sheriff) and "The Real McCoys (Walter Brennan as "Granpappy" Amos McCoy).

Tinman

[This message was edited by tinman on Wed Oct 15th, 2003 at 0:07.]
 
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Picture of arnie
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Bob has answered your message pretty comprehensively, so I'll content myself with a couple of comments in amplification of what he said.
quote:
We may have "surname", but never "forename."
What do you use, then? "First name" is not really satisfactory, since some cultures, such as the Chinese, put the family name first. Similarly, "Christian name" won't work.
quote:
the U.K. seems a little taken with "titles."
True, but we do have more folk with titles, such as "Lord", "Lady", "Sir", "Dame", "Earl", "Viscount", and so on. That is in addition to the more usual "Doctor", "Mister", "Miss", etc.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Ohhhhh, arnie, I forgot all about those royal titles--of course! Now, at this meeting the participants all used their professional titles. I was a little annoyed because I do like to use my doctor title (even if it is a doctorate, rather than an MD) when I am with a group of physicians because generally they think all nurses are cute....but stupid. Roll Eyes [Apologies to any physicians who may be here!]

We do use "First" and "Last" names, almost exclusively. I have a fair number of Chinese friends, with Chinese names, and they seem to use their first and last names the way we do. However, perhaps they changed because of living here?

Now as to "commence", surely we all know what it means, It just isn't used that much, at least here in the midwest. I remember when I was a little girl, I said to my mother, "Grandma said I can stay overnight at her house before school commences." My mother laughed and said, "I know grandma really said that because you would never use that word yourself!" Tinman, could it be that it is an old-fashioned term?
 
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Picture of arnie
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I wouldn't say that "commence" is old-fashioned. It sounds slightly more formal than "begin" or "start", and was probably chosen because of that. I doubt that many people would use the word in everyday conversation, but it is a perfectly good synonym.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
I wouldn't say that "commence" is old-fashioned. It sounds slightly more formal than "begin" or "start", and was probably chosen because of that. I doubt that many people would use the word in everyday conversation, but it is a perfectly good synonym.


I'm not convinced that it is more formal. There is a certain kind of person that routinely mistakes pomposity for formality. They will never use a simple word where there is a more more complicated alternative.

They say things like

"The repast will commence at seven." instead of "Dinner starts at seven."

"His habiliments were soiled." rather than "His clothes were dirty."

"Tony Blair is mendacious." rather than "Tony Blair is a Liar." (OK - that last one was a cheap shot at IDS who did in fact call TB both mendacious and a liar - but tautology is no defence.)

I have more to say about IDS but I think I'll start a separate thread.


A sure fire test to find out whether someone has the pomposity gene is to check for inappropriate use of the word "myself".

My father and myself both agree on this. 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.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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Had it not been for the alternative word for start, we would not have had Stanley Holloway's wonderful monologue about Sam Small.

You can read it here and see just how essential is commence in the last line!

http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiSAMSMLLM.html

Richard English
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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All right Duke says old Sam just for thee I'll oblige,
And to show thee I'm skilled at this art.
So Sam picked it up. "Gradely lad." said the Duke.
"Righto boys let battle now start."

All right Duke says old Sam just for thee I'll oblige,
I'll do what will sure make thee grin.
So Sam picked it up. "Gradely lad." said the Duke.
"Righto boys let battle begin."
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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You all will be very happy to hear, I am sure, that Richard has helped me to become a member in the Fuller's Fine Ale Club. I feel especially fortunate because they made "an exception" to enrol (their spelling) me since I am not from the U.K. Big Grin

In their letter, I found some subtle cultural differences in language (besides the spelling of "enrol".)

First, "...our brews are available the length and breadth of the country..." Length and breadth? We might say "all over" or "throughout" the country.

Then, I think this next sentence illustrates the passion that the Brits have toward beer: "...we will invite prominent beer writers, such as Michael Jackson and Roger Protz, to give their thoughts on the burning issues of the day..." Burning issues of the day in beer?

Lastly, "...we have taken the liberty of enrolling you straight away." We'd maybe say "enrolling you today" or something similar. We'd not say "straight away".
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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It is fairly well-known that the Canadians say "aboot", instead of "about" or "shedule" instead of "schedule". However, I have noticed that they say "notion" much more than we do in the states. In every Canadian talk I think I have heard at least one "notion." Is that true for the U.K. as well?
 
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Picture of arnie
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Scots are likely to say "aboot", but the English, Welsh and Irish would say "about". All of us pronounce "schedule" as "shedule". I don't think that "notion" is a particularly common word over here.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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We would use notion to express an idea or concept, often one that is maybe disputable. . For example, "...The notion that Budweiser brews beer is quite laughable..."

Richard English
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Interesting, Richard. I agree with you that's how I might use "notion" as well. However, these Canadian speakers were all talking about good ideas. After the 4th speaker used the word multiple times, I realized that this must be a cultural difference, at least from people in midwestern U.S.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I am convinced that I really should have been a linguist who specializes in cultural differences in language. I love this stuff!

Just to show how much I saw this word being used, here is a sub-headline in today's Canadian newspaper: "The notion that we could bring about disease regression in just six weeks is truly revolutionary."

In yet another article about Toronto's poor Wanda Liczyk, they use a phrase that we midwesterners don't use; I rather like it: "It was clear that she disliked this line of questioning...and was quick off the mark to offer various qualifiers..." We don't use "quick off the mark"--ever. Do the Brits?
 
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Picture of arnie
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quote:
We don't use "quick off the mark"--ever. Do the Brits?
I suppose it's not uncommon. Not a cliché, exactly, but almost.
 
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Picture of WinterBranch
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Sez Kalleh:
quote:
It's Abercrombie and Fitch that I hate. Their catalogues are absolutely disgusting, and they cater to the young teens.

Furthermore, I made a big scene in our store (much to my children's dismay!) because they followed around all the African-American customers, quite overtly. I complained to the company and refused to shop there ever since.


I know it's from Snopes <shudder> but I just read this,

<covering my head> "A&F and snopes in one post! The nice lady is going to beat me like Richard at a Budweiser convention!" Wink
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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WinterBranch, I no longer have issues with Snopes. [One great thing about being a woman is that I can change my mind! Big Grin] I decided that I had over-reacted, and all of this could have been prevented in the first place had I just clicked their link!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I decided that I had over-reacted.

Ah, Kalleh, over-reacting is the American way. If it wasn't for such things as over-reacting, passing the buck and jumping to conclusions, we wouldn't get any exercise at all!

Tinman
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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In reading about England in the bookstore yesterday, I found several references to the word "workaday," such as "this is a 'workaday' city." I haven't heard that word before. Is that a regional word?

Interestingly, they called the city "Kenilworth", in England, a workaday city. Definitely the Kenilworth in Illinois is not a workaday city!
 
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Picture of Richard English
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To me it has much the same meaning as the US "regular".

That is, normal, not exceptional, perfectly adequate, not out of the ordinary.

Richard English
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Is that how you would describe Kenilworth, England? Believe me, Kenilworth in Illinois is anything but "ordinary."
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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No, I'm writing a double dactyl. Again, in reading about England, I read about a "higgledy piggledy" roofs. Here is the definition I am familiar with. What does it mean when describing roofs?
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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Here, thanks to google, is an excellent example of a higgledy-piggledy roof. Razz
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Richard sent me an article from Times Online about Princess Diana's inquest. I thought the following was funny:

"Outlining the nature of his remit, Mr Burgess referred to a ruling by Sir Thomas Bingham, Master of the Rolls, who defined the word 'how' as meaning 'by what means'."

Now I understand why Clinton needed to define "is." After all, he was a Rhodes Scholar who attended Oxford! Roll Eyes
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Reviving a thread...

Way above on September 16, 2003, I posted a comment about the use of "oriental" for people of Asian descent. Last Friday I asked my 40-year-old colleague, who was born in China, if the word "oriental" bothers her. She said not at all; however, she said a few years ago a Caucasian colleague told her that it should bother her because it's racist. I found that quite funny. My Asian friend doesn't care at all! Big Grin I do think it generational, though, because my daughter's Asian friends really do care.
 
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