Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 28
    Public (private) schools in the UK have their own names, of course. When I was at school I entered senior school (yr 7) in the Lower Fourth, and took my O Levels in the Upper Remove (yr 11). Westminster, I happen to know, calls yr 9 the Fifth Form, and yr 11 the Upper Shell. However, talk of sophomores etc has always confused me.

    On this topic, you only graduate from university in the UK, and that was the only time any fuss was made. These days most schools have a ball, or prom, after A Levels (yr 13), and some after GCSEs (yr 11), but that is fairly new. Kids today don't know how lucky they are....

    Or unlucky. As a nerd, geek, and fully paid up member of the Not Cool squad (i.e. shit at sports) the prospect of such an event would have filled me with terror. I'm not sure whether Backsliderlet #1's (year 11, GCSEs this school year) school even has one, because he has absolutely no interest in going to one.
  • He sounds like he has his head screwed on correctly.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited September 28
    We didn't have a prom (and they still don't) but for my generation there were dances for which pairs of schools (known as brother-and-sister FFS!) would collaborate. While this meant we all had dancing lessons - very useful in later life - the event itself was cringe-making: staff very much in evidence, girls on one side of the hall, boys on the other, very bright lighting, and both groups having been given (separately) a talk about maintaining a visible distance between you when you danced. Oh, and a live band (violins, etc, not anything you'd expect) on the stage to produce the waltzes, Cha-cha-chas, etc that we were meant to stumble our way through.

    Against all the odds I actually gained a girlfriend through one of these evenings of horror: it was the daughter of people I sort of knew from home, and I suspect she gravitated towards me for the same reason, which was not to be seen as a wallflower.

    Oh, and we wore tails and the girls were in ball dresses.
  • My high school had a prom. Several friends and I chose to go to an amusement park that evening instead. I think we had more fun.
    :mrgreen:
  • My son wouldn’t have been caught dead going to the prom. Daughter enjoyed hers both years.

    Since we’re talking terminology, in the specific corner of the world I grew up in, we usually called the dance in question “(the) Junior-Senior” (the article was optional) rather than “the prom.” We knew, of course, what people meant by “prom,” and “Junior-Senior” was short for “Junior-Senior prom” or “Junior-Senior dance.” As is still the norm in these parts, only juniors or seniors (or their dates) can attend. Juniors at least nominally “host” the dance to honor the seniors, and are responsible for decorations and music (which in my day meant hiring a band).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Annoy

    The current meaning seems to be Irritating, Minorly Disruptive. But I grew up with - and use - it to indicate quite deep feelings, of disappointment, sadness, regret.

    Older meaning, or one just peculiar to the Firenze household?
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    'Minorly?' Would that be the opposite of 'Bigly'? I think on this side of the pond we'd say 'Mildly'.
  • In the US, "minorly" is a colloquialism, and the opposite of "majorly". E.g., "That professor is majorly boring".
  • Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I grew up with 'annoying' to be pretty much synonymous with 'irritating' or 'getting on my nerves.' I've never heard it being used with a stronger meaning, though have seen it in old literature. The OED has the stronger meaning, though says it's obsolete - guess the researchers hadn't met the Firenze household! :smile: It has the milder meaning too, though apparently that dates back to the 1200s, so not a new meaning.

    Now I'm also curious whether others use the stronger meaning. I suppose it's also one of those words where someone could be meaning it with a different definition from yours and you wouldn't always necessarily know - you could be assuming they meant it more strongly or more weakly than they were.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?

    I just grew up hearing my mother (b 1919 in rural Ireland) saying 'I'm annoyed' - or 'I'm that annoyed about X' in a way that clearly indicated she was quite upset about it. OTOH, she would also say 'It would annoy you' to describe something that was irritating. Similarly we children would frequently, so we were told, 'annoy the life out me'.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Shortened forms are just how language works. Do you say "television" every time you mention it, or do you resort to "TV" or "telly"?

    I seem to regularly infuriate my kids by talking about the telephone. I don't think I talk about the television very much, so I'm not at all sure what I tend to say.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Or unlucky. As a nerd, geek, and fully paid up member of the Not Cool squad (i.e. shit at sports) the prospect of such an event would have filled me with terror.

    We had one at my senior school after A-levels, and like you, I had no intention of going. I have no skill at or interest in the freeform stand-and-jiggle school of dance that seems to be practiced at such events, and can't interact with my friends in a large room full of loud music and jiggling people, because we can't hear each other.

    I went to a nightclub once, at university. I was drunk at the time, following a rather good dinner, and following the crowd seemed like the thing. I didn't see the need for a second performance.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    Firenze, I don't think I've heard 'annoy" used in the way you describe. Could you give an example of what you mean, as I could easily be being thick?

    I just grew up hearing my mother (b 1919 in rural Ireland) saying 'I'm annoyed' - or 'I'm that annoyed about X' in a way that clearly indicated she was quite upset about it. OTOH, she would also say 'It would annoy you' to describe something that was irritating. Similarly we children would frequently, so we were told, 'annoy the life out me'.

    Hmm... thinking about it, I use 'annoyed' to mean I'm upset too, though it is different from simply saying I'm upset. It suggests being kind of cross/frustrated too, but not as strong as angry. Or maybe it's something that women are conditioned to say rather than angry - a social conditioning to play down strong emotions, particularly anger. But then I find 'irritated' is also used in the flexible way too, especially by women. You can be irritated that someone has let you down, and that includes being upset and angry, but you say irritated. I come across that usage quite a bit. Possibly also a British stiff upper lip thing, to play down being hurt.
  • fineline wrote: »
    You can be irritated that someone has let you down, and that includes being upset and angry, but you say irritated. I come across that usage quite a bit. Possibly also a British stiff upper lip thing, to play down being hurt.

    IMO "annoyed" is a fair bit stronger than irritated. If I get as far as "really annoyed" there's probably steam coming out of my ears.

    "I am annoyed about X" is a much stronger statement than "X is annoying" - the latter could even be a mild frustration, but the former is pretty much anger.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    'Irritated' also has a physical meaning, of course, so it's not just your emotions that can get inflamed, but also your body by irritants, like pollen or cleaning sprays or foods that you have an allergy to. I guess that influences how people use it, and their experience of physical irritants might come into play. Irritated always seems to me a more prickly, sharp, uncomfortable feeling because of my experience of physical irritants, and annoyed a smoother, more constant feeling.
  • Irritated locates the issue within the person who is irritated: they are a grumpy pants about something. And let everyone know that they are.

    Annoyed means the person has some justifiable issue more often than not.

    It seems a bit subtle to me, but the nuance is there.

    Some who irritates me has also pissed me off, which also means I'm behaving irritably. Which is interesting, because "being pissed" means to be drunk.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    The significance of the preposition. Just as being fed differs from being fed up.
  • ...or being f*cked differs from being f*cked off :smile:

    (A UK - IRL difference here - 'fecked' being ubiquitous and not apparently that rude, in the latter)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I found it quite confusing the first time I heard someone here describe themselves as "pissed", meaning they were pissed off (i.e. a bit cross); my response was, "no - you're stone-cold sober".
  • I play some online card games, and often get invited to play 'Spades". This is unknown to me. Or is it the game we call "Whist" in the UK?
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    In Scotland public schools are officially that and private schools are private.
    Private schools when referring to public (state) schools often refer to such schools as being in the 'maintained sector'.
    Since one hears often in Scotland English terminology being used many (older)people will in fact use the term 'public school' to refer to a private school. In the same way a good number of Scots will refer to exams which they sat at school as 'O-levels' rather than the Scottish term 'O-grades' Both of these exams belong to a period which is now long gone.
    'School' is a word which is used here for educational establishments for children and young people up to 18.I always find it strange when americans refer to places of tertiary education as 'school'.

    Historical note - at the political union of 1707 which created the United Kingdom the Scottish part of the Union had three guarantees of independence from England : the independence of the Presbyterian Church,the independence of the Scottish school system
    and the independence of the Scottish judicial system.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    When I was in Junior High our Friday PE was always dancing. It was at the beginning of rock and roll. I was never very good at slow dancing. In high school there often after game dances. Homecoming Dance, Junior Prom, and Senior Ball were the formal dances.

    Recently I have gotten back into dancing and this is in spite of a recent knee surgery and arthritic back. I think it is because I have recently lost about 50 lbs and have much more energy.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    Historical note - at the political union of 1707 which created the United Kingdom the Scottish part of the Union had three guarantees of independence from England : the independence of the Presbyterian Church,the independence of the Scottish school system
    and the independence of the Scottish judicial system.

    Thanks for that snippet - I knew the Church and judicial system, but not the schools.
  • Were those guarantees kept? (Pardon my ignorance.)

    Thx.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    In a word, yes.
  • There's no short answer to that one. The guarantee about the independence of the Presbyterian church wasn't kept, and led to the splitting off of the Free Church from the Established church in 1843 (the "Disruption"), although after that the guarantee was kept, more or less for both churches.

    The guarantee about the school system was going to be breached in 1867, but after massive protests it wasn't.
  • The whole ethos of education in Scotland was different. In the First Book of Discipline, Knox wrote:
    "The children of the poor must be supported and sustained on the charge of the church, till trial is taken whether the spirit of docility is found in them or not. If they are found apt to letters and learning, then may they (we mean neither the sons of the rich, nor yet the sons of the poor) not be permitted to reject learning; but must be charged to continue their study, so that the commonwealth may have some comfort by them."

    I.e. youth is a resource for the community, and the intelligent poor must have access to education, so that the community can take advantage of their learning. A school was a resource in the same way that a coal mine was; it existed to exploit a natural resource, the intelligence of the people (or at least the 50% of the people who weren't female!)

    In England, education was seem as more individualistic, and the rich had a better quality of education than the poor.

    That ethos filtered through, and still exists today. Most Scottish children are educated in state comprehensive schools. We put zero thought into which school our children would go to - like almost everyone else they simply went to the nearest school, whereas in England, people choose a school, apply for it, and aren't guaranteed their first choice. Here, our kids are guaranteed a place at whichever school they are in the catchment area for, and there's no effort necessary.

    In 1867, there was an attempt to make "middle class" education better than "working class education" (referred to as "the English Code") but it was fiercely resisted.

    (Of course, middle class children did tend to do better, as they were less likely to leave school at the earliest age possible, to earn a wage. The Scottish system was never able to overcome that.)
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    There's no short answer to that one. The guarantee about the independence of the Presbyterian church wasn't kept, and led to the splitting off of the Free Church from the Established church in 1843 (the "Disruption"), although after that the guarantee was kept, more or less for both churches.

    The guarantee about the school system was going to be breached in 1867, but after massive protests it wasn't.

    But the Presbyterian Church was independent of English control, and I thought that was the independence to which Forthview was referring.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    There was, however, in Queen Anne's time the Patronage Act which more or less gave landowners (and town councils ) the right to nominate the minister. Free choice of the minister by the parishioners was important to Scottish Presbyterians and led eventually in 1843 to the Disruption where approximately one third of ministers, elders and congregations left the Church of Scotland to form the 'Free Church of Scotland' Of course there had been divisions within the Presbyterian Church before that with various seceding groups and many more after that also, but that is far too complicated for here.
    I am not sure if the government/state were indeed the Patrons of the parish churches - as far as I know it was the landowners in the country and the town council in the burghs/towns who had a responsibility for the maintenance and payment of the minister(s) and schoolmaster(s) and who felt that they should have the first choice.

    It was only after 1689 that the Established (as it was then) Church of Scotland became fully Presbyterian and only after that -that a separate Scottish Episcopal Church gradually came into being -not of course under English control either.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    When

    Recently I have gotten back into dancing and this is in spite of a recent knee surgery and arthritic back. I think it is because I have recently lost about 50 lbs and have much more energy.

    Go Gramps 49

  • Thx for the responses re guarantees to Scotland.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    There was, however, in Queen Anne's time the Patronage Act which more or less gave landowners (and town councils ) the right to nominate the minister. Free choice of the minister by the parishioners was important to Scottish Presbyterians and led eventually in 1843 to the Disruption where approximately one third of ministers, elders and congregations left the Church of Scotland to form the 'Free Church of Scotland' Of course there had been divisions within the Presbyterian Church before that with various seceding groups and many more after that also, but that is far too complicated for here.
    I am not sure if the government/state were indeed the Patrons of the parish churches - as far as I know it was the landowners in the country and the town council in the burghs/towns who had a responsibility for the maintenance and payment of the minister(s) and schoolmaster(s) and who felt that they should have the first choice.

    It was only after 1689 that the Established (as it was then) Church of Scotland became fully Presbyterian and only after that -that a separate Scottish Episcopal Church gradually came into being -not of course under English control either.

    Yes, that's as I understood it. Perhaps the monarch was the patron of a parish or 2, but that would have been a personal incidental, not the sort of power as supreme governor of the CoE. And of course it was the independent status of the SEC which allowed the bishops of that Church to consecrate Samuel Seabury when the CoE bishops could not - much as they would have liked to.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Does the tangent about Scottish education, law and church allow me the pleasure of using the word antidisestablishmentarianism? Not because I know what it means, you understand - just because. :naughty:
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    One of my favorite words, Piglet, and I loved spelling it aloud when I was a pup!
  • Too bad we're not discussing German. You can string a bunch of words together to make a new word--and some words are about a page long! (At least, a page in my German textbook.)
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    jedijudy wrote: »
    One of my favorite words, Piglet, and I loved spelling it aloud when I was a pup!
    As did I


  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Too bad we're not discussing German. You can string a bunch of words together to make a new word--and some words are about a page long! (At least, a page in my German textbook.)

    One of my favorite Mark Twain stories is "The Awful German Language" which includes that fact. It is hilarious! :joy: If you haven't read it, here it is: https://www.daad.org/files/2016/07/Mark_Twain-Broschuere.pdf . Don't mind the German intros. The body of the work is Twain's English.
  • It's not just the words that get long. Sentences can be torturous, especially given the weird order that German uses for subordinate clauses. Basically each sentence opens up like an eggshell, and the subordinate clause fits between the subject on the left and the verb on the right. They nest like matroshka dolls. Our H.S. German teacher said there is a book that exists of one sentence, and that the first chapters are all the nouns, and the last chapters are all the verbs.
  • I'm so glad to have a copy of that for my kid to read in the morning. He is currently suffering through his fifth year of German in preparation for the AP exam in May, and is truly-and-most-frustratedlyconcussion-stricken-mit-dem-Brain-ouchen-wanten-give-UP.
  • I had great fun studying German and their longer-than-a-page compound words. :smile:

    I'm also a fan of "honorificabilitudinitatibus," the longest word in the English language featuring alternating consonants and vowels. Shakespeare used it in
    Act V, Scene I of Love's Labour's Lost.

  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    One of my favourite long words in German is the title given to a lady on a gravestone in Austria - Donaudampfschiffahrtgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe - since it is a title I don't think I have to translate it, but perhaps Lamb chopped's kid would be able to translate.
  • Very similar to the title used to illustrate the point in my German textbook - Vierwaldsstätteseedampfshiffsgesellschaftskapitänsmutzenssternlein (the little star on the cap of a captain of the Vierwaldstätte Lake steam ship company).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited October 5
    Forthview wrote: »
    One of my favourite long words in German is the title given to a lady on a gravestone in Austria - Donaudampfschiffahrtgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe - since it is a title I don't think I have to translate it, but perhaps Lamb chopped's kid would be able to translate.

    Despite the 50 year interval since my German 'A' Level, I can translate that (to my surprise).

  • tsk, tsk! Danube Steamship Company Captain's Widow.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    tsk, tsk! Danube Steamship Company Captain's Widow.

    That’s how google translated it too. 🙂🙂

  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited October 5
    What can I say, a lifetime's love of Strauss (An der schönen blauen Donau), operetta (Die lustige Witwe) and WWII films on wet afternoons (Ja, Mein Kapitan), plus a German train set in the nursery, gives one a head-start :blush:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Back to American/English -

    I just can not understand people using “I could care less” when they mean they couldn’t care less!
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    'Could I care less?' may be what they mean to convey.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    edited October 5
    Boogie wrote: »
    Back to American/English -

    I just can not understand people using “I could care less” when they mean they couldn’t care less!

    As an American, that's a pet peeve of mine too.
    :rage:

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    It belongs there with the equally strange (to my mind) British phrase, ‘cheap at half the price’.
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