The use of the English language on either side of the Atlantic

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Richard Channing, May 4, 2018.

  1. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not when you're saying the store's name. If you are more general ("I'm going to the store" or "I'm going to the mall"), then having the "the" sounds right. The only reason I might add a "the" would be if there are more than one nearby and I needed to differentiate ("I'm going to the McDonalds on Main Street", as opposed to the one on Elm Street, etc.) but even that is rare.
     
  2. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    What about baseball expressions?

    Some have strangely become part of the Australian vernacular despite the fact that the game itself is not played here that much.

    Is the same true in England?

    For example, "out of left field", meaning unexpected, and especially "stepping up to the plate", meaning to take responsibility, when, as a cricketing nation, one would expect the phrase to be "stepping up to the crease".
     
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  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Legend

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    The man who undoubtedly mangles the English language worst of all is golfer Graeme McDowell who, despite coming from Portrush near me, for some unknown reason has decided to invent the most hideously contrived American accent - nobody anywhere in the world can understand what he says. Any conversation he comes out with consists almost entirely of "Like I said, you know, I woke up you know) and it really is awful.

    If he had any pride in where he came from he wouldn't be doing this. I spent three years at university in Southampton and while I am extremely proud of getting my degree, I am prouder still that I didn't lose my native accent or end up speaking like a robot.

    Honestly, every time you hear McDowell it is just ridiculous. He was on a flight to Edinburgh with me a few weeks ago, and even the cabin crew couldn't work out what he was trying to say.

    Swami
     
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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've heard both of these in the UK. I've even used the former on occasion (though I probably had a word with myself about it afterwards).

    Other baseball phrases I've heard here include "knock it out of the park" for someone that does an incredibly good job and "play ball" to describe someone who behaves the way they are expected (or demanded) to by the other party.
     
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  5. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Not a baseball phrase specifically, but sports related, is to "take a raincheck", as a way to say "not today, but maybe another day." Commonly used in the US but it hasn't really caught on across the pond.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This article (well, really a book review) reminded me of this thread.


     
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  7. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    "Hurra-cane" or "hurra-c'n"?

    It was always "hurra-c'n" here but as the influence of American media grows, "hurra-cane" is becoming more common.
     
  8. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I read up on the use of "merry" vs. "happy" and I've come to the conclusion that "happy" is more common in the U.K. because of its use by the royal family. There are examples of "merry Christmas" being used in England as far back as the reign of Henry VIII. Charles Dickens used "merry" repeatedly in "A Christmas Carol". The American writer Clement Moore ended "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" with "a happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night". This was later changed to "merry" (and most modern editions replace the title with the opening phrase "Twas The Night Before Christmas"). I think Irving Berlin's lyric "may your days be merry and bright" in "White Christmas" (Bing Crosby's recording remains the top selling single of all time - 77 years later!) solidified the use of "merry Christmas" as the preferred greeting in the U.S.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  9. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Well I'm from Ireland and I say hurra-cane too, and I think everyone else here does too. I'm not sure it's an American thing.
     
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  10. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Since Dorian was such a news-hog this week, the word "hurricane" was on everyone's lips. I was surprised when one of the local news reporters pronounced it "hurr-c'n" since I'd always equated that pronunciation with New Englander/Mainer accents, of which she has neither. Everyone else has been saying "hurri-cain".
     
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  11. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've noticed some differences in accent and phrases in different parts of countries. Like american east coast once you have gone shopping ends with "have a good one."

    The UK accent in Wales, Scottland, England and Northern Ireland varies some too.

    My English is s mixture of British and American. My pronouncion is more British but my spelling more American. Like theater vs theatre or center vs centre.
     
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  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    "Have a good one" always seemed to be a way to get around saying "Have a nice day," which can easily come off as insincere or sarcastic when said in a business (retail) setting. Workers required to say something nice (as opposed to wanting to say something nice) will try to make the closing interaction more comfortable/genuine by departing from "Have a nice day". I tend to say "have a good day" to people rather than "have a nice day" for this reason; when I say the latter, it sounds sarcastic.

    American English Versus British English:
    I took several years of French in high school and college. My high school teacher was an American woman who had learned French, while my college professors had grown up in France. My first professor (from Paris) seemed quite entertained by my 'take' on French, since my pronunciations were a mixture of my HS teacher's accent and my own Southern accent. I had assumed my HS teacher's pronunciation was "real" French, but of course there is no "standard" French pronunciation any more than there is a standard American pronunciation. My professor wanted to teach Parisian French (since that was where he was from), so I got chided occasionally for my different approach--luckily he didn't penalize my grades for having an 'odd' accent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    "My" English is soapchat-English, and the only thing that really matters to me is that people spell "Krystle" correctly.

    Because of the French influence on Dutch and English language I always opt for the most European-looking versions e.g. flavour, humour, colour.

    And I would pronounce hurricane as "run for cover!"
     
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  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Bob Dylan (Minnesota) and Neil Young (Canada) both say hurricane.



     
  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    The Bob Dylan song is going to be my favourite new discovery this week, talk about killing two birds with one stone!
    The other hurricane sounds like Ruby Tuesday, I think?
     
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  16. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Languages spoken in more than one countries can't help but have variations. My (Austrian) German can sound quite non-standard to those who learned German in school, and I am sure to some German speakers as well, and there are even a lot of words (and a bunch around food) which only Austrians use. And when I travelled in Switzerland, I heard even more words that were not part of everyday German diction. I do wonder though to what degree such variations will survive long-term.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019 at 1:24 AM
  17. Marika

    Marika Soap Chat Member

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    German, like English, has different Standard variations: German Standard German, Austrian Standard German, and Swiss Standard German, each with their own grammar, vocabulary and spelling rules (in Switzerland, they don't use the letter "ß" for example).

    The Standard variations are what you would hear on TV or read online and in newspapers. These are "constructed" languages, because in reality, everyone speaks their own dialect (and there are a lot of them!) that more or less differs from the Standard variation. That's why people from northern Germany have trouble understanding people from the southern regions and vice versa. When I went to Switzerland 3 years ago, I couldn't even understand the waiters in the restaurant.

    For German Standard German, they always say that the dialect from Hanover is closest to the Standard variation.

    When I went to school, kids started learning English in 5th grade (nowadays, they already learn the basics in pre-school/kindergarten). We were "forced" to learn British English. When I went to university, I studied American Literature, but we also had to take a Phonetics course (including IPA transcription). So of course I had a professor who only accepted British English, so I had to switch between the two variations all the time. I tend to think my accent is more British.

    I also studied Swedish (and the other Nordic languages to some extent), and we were always taught that Swedish, Norwegian and Danish were somewhat mutually intelligible (the vocabulary and grammar is nearly identical). Well, when I met a guy from Denmark this summer, I tried to converse in Swedish, but he didn't understand a single word :D Big failure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019 at 12:57 PM
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  18. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I work with three people originally from Haiti, and the dialect of French they speak among themselves is so varied from the French that I (struggle to) remember....I can barely understand a word of it. o_O
     
  19. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    And I lived in Louisiana, where some people speak Cajun, which nobody else but them understands.
     
  20. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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