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Pet Hates - but not hating your pets!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by mac, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor


    It is British English to say "different to" rather than "different from", correct?

    Also, I know Brits say they "queue", but I was under the impression that when they did use another expression, they say they are waiting "on line" (as opposed to "in line"). Am I wrong about that? Perhaps it's a Canadian phrase....
  2. mac

    mac Staff Member

    It might well be the Canucks who use preposition 'on' instead of 'in'. Brits queue - patiently we like to think! We only wait in line when we're in the USA!

    I use 'different from' and 'different to' without distinction. I'd guess either gets used routinely by other Brits - both are in general use.
  3. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    A few more:

    When people say "anyways" rather than "anyway". Not only is "anyways" not a word, it's not as though it even adds any meaning to the actual word "anyway".

    This one may not indicate any actual incorrect word usage or grammar, but it irritates the crap out of me, lol. I do not like it when people say something along the lines of "Join the conversation" when they are talking about an online discussion. To me, a "conversation" is something one only has by physically talking to other people (usually in person, but also including on the phone or on Zoom or similar platforms when actual speech is coming out of someone's mouth and is heard by and responded to by at least one other person). A similar event which takes place online, via e-mail, in chatrooms, etc., (or via other written communication, such as letter writing) is a discussion, not a conversation.

    When people say "She is not happy or comfortable around issues of ......" (whatever it may be). The word which should be used there is "about", not "around".

    As a poet, language use presents a strange dichotomy for me. On the one hand, language can and should be used inventively, in ways which illuminate both meaning and feeling; on the other hand, I find it extremely irritating when people use language incorrectly and inexactly, generally without regard for or intention to illuminate. I suppose for me it's a matter of intent, knowledge, and intelligence -- in my experience, people who are good writers/speakers may use words in unusual ways for a reason, whereas most of the time other people are just making mistakes in their use of the language. I'm fine with the first type, irritated by the second, lol.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  4. mac

    mac Staff Member

    What about "a long ways to go" ? :D

    alternate for alternative

    Does AmerEnglish have 'sarky' or 'feeny'?
  5. mac

    mac Staff Member

    We feel very similarly about many issues, bb. :)

    When I write here I will generally use 'Americanisms' or spellings for words that when I write 'em elsewhere I won't.

    I used to be insufferable in my approach to language but I've softened. Languages change - well at least English changes - almost constantly and probably at a faster pace now than it's ever changed in the past few hundreds of years.

    On ALF I often use 'conversation' for 'discussion' but my next reference will be 'discussion'. The website was structured - not by me! - to have 'Join The Conversation' as one of its categories. I agree with what you say about conversation cf. discussion, though, but I follow the website's format.

    I will often use 'said' (sic) when it should be wrote but constantly adding a ' to either side of a word ('said') looks fussy. And in a mixed paragraph I will often alternate 'said' and wrote! :D

    As a once-regular long-stay visitor to America - BC - I used to be constantly irritated by the differences between EnglEnglish and AmerEnglish but now I love and enjoy 'em both. :) We Brits don't have any rights over American use of 'our language' (How imperial is that!) or for that matter any other nation's use of it. And 'our language' is peppered with bits from others' languages anyway.

    I just LOVE the way English has become a near-universal language (imperialism again!) and I enjoy the new words that keep appearing. I guess curmudgeon mac has become uncle mac . ;):)
  6. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    We don't use either "sarky" or "feeny" in American English, though I believe I have heard "sarky" once or twice in my life (but I've travelled in Europe, so it's very likely I heard it there). "Feeny" sounds Irish to me....

    Hm. Apparently another difference is that Brits use single quotation marks and Americans use double, lol.
  7. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    "On ALF I often use 'conversation' for 'discussion' but my next reference will be 'discussion'. The website was structured - not by me! - to have 'Join The Conversation' as one of its categories. I agree with what you say about conversation cf. discussion, though, but I follow the website's format."

    lol! Thanks for planning to use "discussion" next time. ;)

    I have found that the phrase "Join the conversation" is one which is very overused online, to the point of having become cliche, if not overtly incorrect. Funnily enough, I had never noticed that it was the header of one of the categories here on ALF!
  8. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I use a single mark for 'said' instead of wrote and double ones eg "These are quoted words." or to indicate someone speaking "I say, old chap, these colonial sayings are a bit much!"

    Double consonants for past participles - as you've used "travelled" above - are what us Brits use routinely but I adapt to my readers' probable expectations. I'd guess few notice....

    What about this? 'punkin' for pumpkin! And this is a true Americanism 'doneness'. I've had to show our American friends cooking instructions using this word! They didn't know what I was talking about!
  9. mac

    mac Staff Member

    And I had not noticed that "Join the conversation." is used online. It just goes to show what catches one's eye or alternatively completely gets missed.....
  10. mac

    mac Staff Member

    They're words my wife and I know so they may come from our childhood and may be dialect but could come from anywhere - we've had lots of re-located workers in our region who brought their words and we adopted 'em double-quick and often adapted 'em.

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