Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I've Heard it Both Ways, Vol. 2

Since I last wrote a post about some of the differences in English word usage in England and America, I've been keeping a list of more.  Some of the things we hear in North Yorkshire may be different, of course, to other parts of England.  

The calendar on my iPhone starts on a Monday instead of a Sunday, and in the morning children eat porridge instead of oatmeal.  If you want to make burgers in the summer you cook them on the barbecue, not the grill.  And to make frosting for your cake you'll need icing sugar not powdered. And while Americans love a grilled cheese for a quick and easy lunch, the English prefer a cheese toastie.

When it's time to leave the English look for the Way Out, while Americans watch for the Exit sign. They drive carefully through the car park instead of the parking lot.  If there's a long line or queue, my kids now say it's taking ages instead of forever.  I tell them to have Patience, which is also the game we know as Solitaire.

When I take my driving test tomorrow I hope there's no rain and no chance of me hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning here.  I'll make sure not to cross into the central reservation, what we would call the median.  I won't be on the motorway, so I don't have to worry about passing or rather, overtaking anyone.  Hopefully I'll tick all the boxes (that's check if you're an American), and hear the examiner say, "Well done," and my husband say, "Good job."

Some words are the same, but the English like to add what we call a superlative 'S.'  My kids do Maths, but then they also used to play with Legoes and now it's simply LEGO, regardless of how many pieces are spread over the floor.

Dogs walk on a lead to the park, and children play football instead of soccer.  We visit the cash machine instead of the ATM.  Ella pulls her hair back with an elastic and no longer a pony-tail holder, and they continue to take a packed lunch to school instead of a sack lunch.

Both of my kids say things like, "Shall I..." but I'll know they've really acclimated when they use the word whilst.

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