Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hi Cousins!

That is what the media calls us and granted we have similarities. The most important one is a shared language. But even here there are differences!

It amuses me that you Americans always say. “Wait a second!” “Just a second.” Everything is in a “second” where we use the word “minute” Ha, the difference is important, for you are the “get up and go people.” Let’s get on with it and that is really shown in the way you use a word about time!

Of course you have lost the “u” in lots of words, so much easier for kids, I always think; colour is one word that comes to mind. There are lots of others. I remember when I was working in New York State, I had to type a finance report and used the word “cheque” not knowing that you spelt the thing that comes from the bank, as check! That check to us is a pattern, or something we do to make sure there are no mistakes. Incidentally I had to type the whole thing again – no magical computers then.

Then there are the different descriptions of things – we use the word “knock up” to mean literally “knock someone up” i.e. come and rap on their door to get them out of bed. This stems from the old profession of “Knocker up” a man or woman on a bike, with a huge pole would come around and they would rap on the bedroom windows of the mill workers. No alarm clocks in those days, so you paid this person a few pence a week to get you up at 5.00 a.m. to get to work. So if an English person asks you. “Shall I knock you up?” It doesn’t mean he is going to drag you into bed, but rather drag you out of it!

Keeping to the “sex” theme, what you call erasers, we call rubbers. Gosh that could be really confusing couldn’t it? How embarrassing to ask the Mother in Law if she has a rubber, what would she think!

However it is these differences that I love. How boring if there were not these things that can raise a smile after the event, and when explanations are made. It is our differences that perhaps keep us together. Vive la difference, I always say.


Sarita Leone said...

Oh Margaret, I know this is your post! Good morning, cousin! :) I'm sitting here with a big smile on my face, contemplating all the ways I could get myself in trouble in England--just by talking! Yikes!

Fun post. I'll be grinning all day. Thanks!

Debbie Wallace said...

Got a good chuckle out of me on your mother in law comment about the rubbers!