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Alternate Terminologies: Leftpondian Lingo—The Transatlantic Divide

David Flin

An evil Socialist, apparently.
So many examples that one could add:

Leftpond "Quite good" is better than good.
Rightpond "Quite good" isn't as good as good.

And then there was the debrief after a military exercise, which went rather well. A British Officer said that it "Went like a Bomb". Americans didn't understand the idiom, and assumed he meant "It Bombed."

And there's leaping out of a window on the first floor.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
My wife remembers the time in Georgia she came in to find me bright red after speaking to her housemate, who had told me when it gets hot they just go around in pants.
 

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
My wife remembers the time in Georgia she came in to find me bright red after speaking to her housemate, who had told me when it gets hot they just go around in pants.
Funny, that's a sight more than I remember wearing for a good part of my time in the hills of Georgia. Depending on the time period and age of person in question, casual nudity can be a thing.

Leftpond "Quite good" is better than good.
Rightpond "Quite good" isn't as good as good
This explains too many misunderstandings we've had staff side...
 

BClick

One Million Americans
Location
Little Beirut
Pronouns
He/him
Nice work. Not to nitpick, though, @Thande but where did you get the idea that Americans typically say "automobile" instead of "car"? It's used in abbreviated form in phrases like "auto parts" and "auto repair" but I'd never refer to "my automobile" in casual conversation.

Leftpond "Quite good" is better than good.
Rightpond "Quite good" isn't as good as good.
My (English) stepfather once asked my (American) mother to read one of his novels before he sent it to the publisher. She called it "quite good." Strife ensued.
 

Thande

BidenHarris, vaccine, England's got the same Queen
Published by SLP
Nice work. Not to nitpick, though, @Thande but where did you get the idea that Americans typically say "automobile" instead of "car"? It's used in abbreviated form in phrases like "auto parts" and "auto repair" but I'd never refer to "my automobile" in casual conversation.
That is the usual British assumption and I was caveat'ing by saying 'car' is also used over there, though I probably didn't go far enough in the language I used. It does feel there's a generational trend away from 'automobile' or even 'auto' in the US, which is one of those things that don't make naive sense to someone who'd assume that US usages will always beat other ones in our current geopolitical climate.
 

BClick

One Million Americans
Location
Little Beirut
Pronouns
He/him
That is the usual British assumption and I was caveat'ing by saying 'car' is also used over there, though I probably didn't go far enough in the language I used. It does feel there's a generational trend away from 'automobile' or even 'auto' in the US, which is one of those things that don't make naive sense to someone who'd assume that US usages will always beat other ones in our current geopolitical climate.
Interesting - I wonder if the portrayal of Americans in British media keeps that alive as a stereotype. "Automobile" is a fun word if said in a Southern accent.
 

Ncw8

This space unintentionally left blank
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Baselland
Interesting - I wonder if the portrayal of Americans in British media keeps that alive as a stereotype. "Automobile" is a fun word if said in a Southern accent.
The word “Automobile” does get used in a lot of American songs, from Chuck Berry’s No Particular Place To Go to N.W.A.’s Automobile.

It does get used in some British songs as well, for example Queen’s I’m In Love With My Car, though I’d argue that was an example of Seventies groups trying to aim for a mid-Atlantic feel.
 

Thande

BidenHarris, vaccine, England's got the same Queen
Published by SLP
The word “Automobile” does get used in a lot of American songs, from Chuck Berry’s No Particular Place To Go
I think you've just put your finger on why the idea Americans say automobile has survived in a British context - Radio 2's drivetime programme has started with the opening lines of that song for longer than I can remember.
 

Francisco Cojuanco

Well-known member
Location
Arizona
Interestingly there are other dialects of course, of "standard" or "standard colloquial" English.

For example in Philippine English:
A fridge is a ref
A karaoke box is a videoke
A sharpie or marker is a pentel pen
All-you-can-eat is eat-all-you-can
An academic gown is a toga
A bathroom is a CR or comfort room
A gated community is a subdivision
A grand theft auto is a carnapping
An armed robber is a holduper
A fraud is an estafa
A prosecutor is a fiscal
A strip club is a cabaret
A dress shirt is a polo.
 

Francisco Cojuanco

Well-known member
Location
Arizona
That is the usual British assumption and I was caveat'ing by saying 'car' is also used over there, though I probably didn't go far enough in the language I used. It does feel there's a generational trend away from 'automobile' or even 'auto' in the US, which is one of those things that don't make naive sense to someone who'd assume that US usages will always beat other ones in our current geopolitical climate.
I think what keeps "automobile" alive is its use in American legal English, where it's used so as to distinguish the car someone drives from the one pulled or pushed by a locomotive. Perhaps people get the misperception from American police dramas?
 
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