More "divided by a common language" stuff

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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

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@chas - Can you post a photo of the bust? I too once had a Cthulhu plush toy. It seems you have a cool and creative daughter!

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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by david_h »

I found this page https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/lear ... ge12.shtml
which doesn’t give any more, less even, on the etymology. But there are examples of usage.

Maybe the set of pages are a useful ‘resource’ for this discussion.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Peter Duggan »

david_h wrote:But there are examples of usage.
To me, manky is always grimy, smelly, dirty, disgusting etc. So I wouldn't get the meaning given for 'my torch is all manky' either.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

And that's another one: torch.

In the US (don't know about Canada), these are torches:

ImageImage

Whereas this is a flashlight:

Image

I've become pretty comfortable hearing most British usages, but "torch" for "flashlight" still catches me off-balance.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by benhall.1 »

Nanohedron wrote:I've become pretty comfortable hearing most British usages, but "torch" for "flashlight" still catches me off-balance.
One of my neighbours runs "moonlight walks" over the countryside, but I imagine her phrase, "Meet at the cross. Bring torches," might have a very different connotation over there. :o
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by benhall.1 »

I've started to read a collection of stories by Algernon Blackwood. Unfortunately, it is in an American edition. In this particular edition, there are an amazing number of pointless footnotes, including quite a few that "explain" things that really don't feel like they should need explaining. These include, in just the first two pages, an explanation of where Hampshire is, what Trinity Hall, Cambridge is and the meaning of the (very commonly used) word "ramshackle".

I must see if I can get a British edition ...
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Tunborough »

benhall.1 wrote:I've started to read a collection of stories by Algernon Blackwood. Unfortunately, it is in an American edition. In this particular edition, there are an amazing number of pointless footnotes, including quite a few that "explain" things that really don't feel like they should need explaining. These include, in just the first two pages, an explanation of where Hampshire is, what Trinity Hall, Cambridge is and the meaning of the (very commonly used) word "ramshackle".
I would agree that in Canada none of those would need explaining. In particular, we have a long history of "ramshackle". I don't know exactly where Hampshire is, but I know enough to look at a map of England to find out.

Torches, on the other hand, are as much a fire hazard here as in the U.S.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by david_h »

Peter Duggan wrote:... I wouldn't get the meaning given for 'my torch is all manky' ...
Me neither.

I remember about torch-flashlight after a three way conversation that went:
Me: "I'll remember to take a torch" 2: "Torch!?" 3: "Flashlight"
That went so fast that person 2 was obviously alarmed and person 3 had obviously done the translation before.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Peter Duggan »

Tunborough wrote:I don't know exactly where Hampshire is
'In Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire,
Hurricanes hardly happen.'
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

Tunborough wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:I've started to read a collection of stories by Algernon Blackwood. Unfortunately, it is in an American edition. In this particular edition, there are an amazing number of pointless footnotes, including quite a few that "explain" things that really don't feel like they should need explaining. These include, in just the first two pages, an explanation of where Hampshire is, what Trinity Hall, Cambridge is and the meaning of the (very commonly used) word "ramshackle".
I would agree that in Canada none of those would need explaining. In particular, we have a long history of "ramshackle". I don't know exactly where Hampshire is, but I know enough to look at a map of England to find out.
Don't make the mistake, Ben, of concluding that your edition must be an example of what is broadly to be deemed "American". True, it is aimed at the US reader, but I'm entirely sure that the edition was intended for schoolreading; I can't imagine any other reason for such a ridiculous degree of micromanaging. It might surprise some people, but even in the US we presume that the average adult reader is not going to be a total boob who needs their hand held at every turn; in the normal run of things, if the reader doesn't know where Hampshire is, they can look it up on their own steam. The penny-kisser would also point out that fewer footnotes means less cost, so your copy would clearly be scholastic material, or at least for the youth market (although I can't imagine what would inspire an average youngster to electively read Algernon Blackwood). Let me reassure you that "ramshackle" is still current yet among Yanks whose lives extend beyond our animal interests, and this reinforces my conviction about the edition's purpose. True, some grownups might not know the word - such are the times - but it's hardly to be put on the same dusty shelf as "poltophagy". So I would suggest, Ben, that you take the edition for what it evidently is: not a representative example of American publishing, but a sourcebook geared toward our educational system. What level I couldn't hope to guess, but that knowledge might be revealing. What is the date of the edition?
Tunborough wrote:Torches, on the other hand, are as much a fire hazard here as in the U.S.
Good to know. So the rule of thumb is that on Left Pond shores, where there's a torch, there's fire.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Peter Duggan »

Nanohedron wrote:So the rule of thumb is that on Left Pond shores, where there's a torch, there's fire.
Can't imagine going running or climbing with a head flashlight, but guess you wouldn't care to wear a head torch?

Now please don't tell us you call them headlights? Because they're big things on cars! But then you don't call cars cars...
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Tunborough »

Peter Duggan wrote:Now please don't tell us you call them headlights? Because they're big things on cars! But then you don't call cars cars...
Headlamp.

... and yes, we do call them cars. (Although most of us seem to drive SUVs and pickup trucks, but that's a rant for another day.)
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

Peter Duggan wrote:But then you don't call cars cars...
Where on Earth did you ever get that idea? Of course we call cars cars.
benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:I've become pretty comfortable hearing most British usages, but "torch" for "flashlight" still catches me off-balance.
One of my neighbours runs "moonlight walks" over the countryside, but I imagine her phrase, "Meet at the cross. Bring torches," might have a very different connotation over there. :o
You bet it does. :boggle:

I can't speak for all Yanks, but as regards cars :poke: , I use "headlights" (often reduced to "lights") in a general sense, especially when they're on - "Those headlights are off-kilter," for example - but I say "headlamp" when I need to buy one, or am differentiating one from the other.

Apparently Left-Ponders also call flashlights on the head "headlamps". To avoid at least some confusion, in print I would favor "head lamp".
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Peter Duggan »

Nanohedron wrote:Where on Earth did you ever get that idea?
Probably just confused because I'm learning German and stuff. But thought you had different names for everything! :P
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

Peter Duggan wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:Where on Earth did you ever get that idea?
Probably just confused because I'm learning German and stuff. But thought you had different names for everything! :P
I can't imagine what German would have to do with it. But you might be surprised to know that we also call teapots teapots. And there's even more!
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