Monsieur Robin - the French brother recently sent me this photograph but it wasn't taken in France. It was taken in Trumpland (formerly the USA). I guess that Trumpians need that kind of signage.
Co-incidentally, the word "sidewalk" is one of those Americanisms that really grates on me. To me a "sidewalk" is when you are moving sideways like a crab. This is something I do frequently when moving along our English pavements and footpaths.
Thank heavens the word "sidewalk" (meaning pavement) has not yet been absorbed into English parlance. With the imperial influence of American culture since World War II, many American terms have crossed the Atlantic and weaselled their way into our everyday speech and writing. Like linguistic grey squirrels they drive out the red squirrels of our communicatory heritage.
I may have said it before, but another irritating Americanism that has not been with us very long is "standout" - as in "The striker had a standout performance". Ten years ago a British commentator would have said. "The striker's performance was outstanding". Now they are all using "standout" - even cricket commentators. It's just not cricket!
I can really relate to your post. Here in Australia we have our particular vernacular which has been overtaken by Americanism. It's not life threatening or anything but it is noticeable since I was a child. We are a multi-cultural society yet it is the American descriptions which seem to dominate.. probably due to Facebook or Google or even as far back as the 2nd WW or Vietnam War. We refer to men as 'guys' rather than 'chap' which was rather English; a description of something 'amazing' is now 'awesome; and a simple answer in the affirmative 'yes' has become 'yeah' and many, many more.ReplyDelete
There are other expressions that have disappeared due to them being 'politically incorrect' which might refer to color, race or sex and that is moving with the times, but aside from those inappropriate terms, it is valuable to keep the language and expression of the country in which we live - that's one of the important elements that makes each country unique as well as diverse.
Your final remark gets to the very nub of why I am rather touchy about the gradual invasion of Americanisms.Delete
Yeah, hi. Well, you know, It's like, I blame the television and stuff. And yeah, well, you guys are just gonna have to, like, live with it, I guess. Television, schmelivision!ReplyDelete
The precision with which you utilise the English language is becoming most impressive Madam Steeds.Delete
I saw a similiar sign in NZ which said Road Ends. It's pretty obvious in the daylight that the road ends; if you kept driving you would rip through a farm fence and into a grassed paddock. Field for the English and maybe pasture for North Americans.ReplyDelete
I recalled your bee in the bonnet about 'sidewalk' recently when wandering around the streets of my very early childhood. I was recalling my my great-aunt's house, which had what they always referred to as a sideway.
A path running from the front of the property to the back along the side of the house.
When you come over, walk down the side way, we'll leave the gate unlocked, they would tell us. Then you didn't have the rellies traipsing through the seldom used front part of the house and making extra work.
"Rellies"? Oh - you mean relatives or relations! As time has passed, Australia has of course also developed its own English variations... Fair dinkum mate!Delete
I would have said rellos but maybe I inherit that from my kiwi whanauDelete
For what it's worth- I haven't heard anyone use the word "standout" in a long time.ReplyDelete
What an outstanding comment Ms Moon!Delete
On my first trip to London, I was baffled by the differences I, word usage. 30 years of reading, and watching a lot of BBC and I understand almost everything in its cultural conrext. The majority of Americans didn't vote for Trump, we dislike him greatly.ReplyDelete
So pleased to learn that you are not a Trumpette Travel!Delete
Standout? That one is new to me.ReplyDelete
You heard it here first!Delete
Feeling cranky today, Mr. Pudding? lolReplyDelete
NO I AM NOT FEELING "CRANKY" JENNY!!!!!!Delete
It seems to me like some of the Americanisms are even new to some of us in America! I think part of that is a combination of youth and social media. It can be challenging to keep up with all the new terminolgy of the teenagers. I recently had to explain to my husband that when our 16 year old grandson said something was "sick" it was a complement!ReplyDelete
I admire the speech of your country and hope it does not get too tainted by our slang. I am still learning how some words are used differently but your language reflects the depth of history of your country.
It is strange how American vocabulary sometimes grew away from the mother tongue. For example we call a "faucet" a "tap" and we call the "trunk" of a car the "boot". The history of these differences is foggy.Delete
I have often thought about the how and why of the American language changing from the mother tongue. My theory is that you have all these people that come to a new country and start out on their own. They are not surrounded by huge numbers of older family members and others from their country at first. We pick up much of how we talk from our elders I believe. Then add to it many people from other parts of the world and you have a setting that might encourage a change here and there over the years. Forgive me rambling on. There was a time when I just could not figure out what a "car boot sale" was!ReplyDelete
I suspect that the picture you paint is certainly one of the factors that caused American use of English to evolve differently from the way we use it over here. Besides, language never stands still. It is always changing.Delete
With all that's going on in the world somehow I just can't get wound up about such things any more.ReplyDelete
I will get wound up for you then Graham.Delete
We are only trying to erase some Englishisms that came over with some people. You'll get used to it.ReplyDelete
"We"? Does that mean Canada's provinces are now US states?Delete
Slightly off topic, I once saw an online quiz testing understanding of British and American colloquialisms. With the huge influence of Hollywood, I thought I would be best at American English but in fact I knew almost none of the American phrases in the quiz and did quite well with the English ones. All those years watching BBC taught me something!ReplyDelete
Excellent! You are almost one of us Kylie!Delete
A bit off the point, but I have noticed lately a lot of younger people, when asked a question will say ...." Yes..... no " and then carry on with the rest of a sentence! Oh, and quite a lot of bloggers recently are writing " of" instead of " have"....very annoying, and wrong ! Unless I have missed something changing since I was at school...it was a long time ago!ReplyDelete
Yes. I have also noticed "should of", "could of" and "would of". I also notice folk - even BBC interviewers - forgetting that the words "sitting" and "standing" exist. They use "sat" and "stood" instead.Delete
That's reverting to old English YP. You'l notice that there is no 'is.....ing' or 'are......ing' in Shakespeare.Delete
You'll also notice that I still send before I proof read.Delete
I share your pain and also get annoyed by the American pronunciation of words ending in -ile, where they swallow the "i". So, as an example, "fertile" becomes "fertle". It is annoying to see English murdered like that, but, I suppose, English has always been subject to change over the centuries or we'd all be talking like Chaucer or Shakespeare.ReplyDelete
I thought a "fertle" was a kind of cider barrel once used in Somerset. You are right about change ADDY.Delete
“should of”, “would of”, and “could of” are primarily the result of people reading less and depending more on their ears (heard speech) than on their eyes (read speech). They also are the result of the increased and widespread use of contractions — should’ve, would’ve, could’ve in place of should have, would have, could have. They are also the result of ignorance — not stupidity, mind you, which can’t be changed, but ignorance, which can be changed by learning relevant information.ReplyDelete
It doesn't worry me one way or the other. In the main, we say "footpath" here. Off the main, some say "sidewalk". Both serve the same purpose.ReplyDelete