Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

1118119121123124128

Comments

  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    Gramps49 wrote: »

    Ahem. You spelled that last word incorrectly...

    I don't think the headline of the article is correct in saying to rule out the mix of languages. It's both - it's both the mix of languages AND what the article says about timing and technology. And indeed some parts of the article itself seem to point to that, such as discussing what might have happened if English had stayed more purely Germanic.

  • From here: http://forums.shipoffools.com/discussion/comment/441833/#Comment_441833

    Quoting myself:

    Re the use of the word "yoof" to replace "youth".

    Is the use of it to describe a church when you were young is it meant to denigrate and ridicule that church, your youth within it or is this a UKism meaning something else? Like making fun of a lisping minister? I do derive a denigration but I could be wrong. Never heard nor seen this before. The internet doesn't answer the question either way adequately.
  • see the other thread you posted on.
  • LolaLola Shipmate Posts: 47
    I don’t think it’s meant to be denigrating. I think it’s suggesting young people might use more slang? Here is a Wikipedia article about f for th and it includes a pic of a famous film star proudly wearing a “Norf London” t shirt.

    (Sarf London also available!)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th-fronting

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited August 2
    It's a very old thing.Th-fronting. There's a village in Kent recorded before the Normans as Thengelsham, ie the ham belonging to a thengel or noble personage. It is now known as Finglesham, and has been since Domesday, when the nobleman was gone, and the Norman scribes wrote phonetically, unaware of meaning.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »
    It's a very old thing.Th-fronting. There's a village in Kent recorded before the Normans as Thengelsham, ie the ham belonging to a thengel or noble personage. It is now known as Finglesham, and has been since Domesday, when the nobleman was gone, and the Norman scribes wrote phonetically, unaware of meaning.

    Don't forget that French then, as now, had a F and didn't have a Th.
  • Isn't is just something that people just affect for fun and to emphasise roots or allegiance? For example, plenty of Aberdonians will slip bits of the Doric into their speech, ("Fit like, loon?") just because they can and they enjoy doing it. My oldest friend, who usually speaks painfully correct English, will often talk about living in Sarf Lunnon, because it has become part of his life.

    I liked Penny S's post above and will try to remember to use it as a test when I see more "F" names.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    North American friends have told me they associate th-fronting purely with little children who haven't yet developed the ability to say 'th,' so they find it strange when adults do it, so then I explain it is the way a lot of adults speak in the UK. I had a linguistics teacher who said that some linguists predict that the 'th' sound is dying out, as more and more young people use 'f' and 'v' instead, and in a few decades it will no longer be used. I imagine if this happens, it would only be in the UK, not in North America.

    And yes, when people talk about being a yoof worker, it's a fun thing, as Stercus Tauri is saying, and partly maybe because young people are more likely to say 'f' than 'th' than older people. Brits do that with quite a few words. So do Americans with different words, I notice - I have an American friend who writes about going on a bidness trip, and to me it sounds like she's doing baby talk, but when I asked her about it, there were various playful associations with the word when written like that.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Also, see a dictionary definition here. It's not specific to churches.
  • It's really not new. There's an old English tongue twister, that one of my teachers asked us to demonstrate when she was talking about th-fronting - I suspect because the mispronunciations were resulting in spelling errors:

    Forty thousand feathers on a thrushes breast.

    Half my class at that time, so 50 odd years ago, couldn't correctly differentiate between th and f sounds, including me at the time as I had no front teeth. That was in the Midlands, so not the south-east.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    When I was about 6, we spent ages teaching my friend to say 'thumb' instead of 'fum' - and then that Christmas in school, we learned the carol which goes

    In a cold and dark December
    Fum, fum, fum


    And of course guess who ever-so-carefully sang 'Thumb, thumb, thumb'?

    I think the 'yoof' thing comes from middle-aged middle-class white guys trying to sound like black London rappers - 'I'm down wid da yoof, innit?' which is every bit as cringeworthy as it sounds.
  • @Gill H I disagree with your last paragraph because I heard that amongst white guys in London well before rap was a thing there, or anywhere else. That f to th, I think, was a thing in the east end when my grandparents were alive.
  • It's much more likely that a th sound would become a d to my Canadian ears. "Go to the badroom and have a badth after you change your clodes. What's duh madder width you dat you got so dirty you hoser" where I've put "dth" the sound is between a d and a th.

    We've also got t become d. Badderies to power something.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    It's much more likely that a th sound would become a d to my Canadian ears. "Go to the badroom and have a badth after you change your clodes. What's duh madder width you dat you got so dirty you hoser" where I've put "dth" the sound is between a d and a th.

    We've also got t become d. Badderies to power something.
    To my Southern American ears, th becoming d sounds very New York/New Jersey/Northeastern, while th becoming f sounds very childlike, especially in words like wiff or baff (with or bath). That makes sense, it seems to me, since both are voiceless fricatives and so sound similar, but f doesn’t require the tongue manipulation that th does. Meanwhile, I often hear clothes become cloves in the mouths of children—again, the th in clothes and v are both voiced fricatives.

  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    @Gill H I disagree with your last paragraph because I heard that amongst white guys in London well before rap was a thing there, or anywhere else. That f to th, I think, was a thing in the east end when my grandparents were alive.

    Oh, sure - I meant the phenomenon of people who don’t actually speak like that affecting the accent.

    Fings ain’t wot they used ter be…
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    It's much more likely that a th sound would become a d to my Canadian ears. "Go to the badroom and have a badth after you change your clodes. What's duh madder width you dat you got so dirty you hoser" where I've put "dth" the sound is between a d and a th.

    We've also got t become d. Badderies to power something.
    To my Southern American ears, th becoming d sounds very New York/New Jersey/Northeastern, while th becoming f sounds very childlike, especially in words like wiff or baff (with or bath). That makes sense, it seems to me, since both are voiceless fricatives and so sound similar, but f doesn’t require the tongue manipulation that th does. Meanwhile, I often hear clothes become cloves in the mouths of children—again, the th in clothes and v are both voiced fricatives.

    I was going to say - the th sounds of thin and this are two different sounds. Even spelt differently in more logically written languages - Cornish th/dh, Welsh th/dd.

    I can imagine the voiced sound going to d (it does in Ebonics and some traditional Yorkshire accents*) but the unvoiced feels like a stretch - I'd expect t, although that could subsequently undergo voicing I suppose.

    *Sheffielders were traditionally called dee-dahs because of how they pronounced thee and thou.
  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate
    edited August 3
    Speaking of past participles, but this is slightly beyond the scope of this thread as it relates to antipodeans - I have heard some (not all) Kiwis and Aussies pronounce words like "known" and "grown" with an extra syllable. Has anybody else heard "knowen" and "growen"? Is it from particular regions?

    a real marker for the Black Country in England - knowen and growen etc. Mining and heavy industry land (and also a good amount of archaic English - how be'est thou is still an everyday greeting, though it comes out as Ow Bis? or Ow Bis Tha?)
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Speaking of past participles, but this is slightly beyond the scope of this thread as it relates to antipodeans - I have heard some (not all) Kiwis and Aussies pronounce words like "known" and "grown" with an extra syllable. Has anybody else heard "knowen" and "growen"? Is it from particular regions?

    Have never heard “ knowen” or “growen” in Oz in the last 60 years but “ fillum” ( as in I watched one) was not uncommonly heard in my late primary years. I had spent the years from 4 to 9 in the USA then Singapore so was familiar with “movies” and “cinema”;so “ fillum” sounded quaint to me. The more commonly used “the flicks” as in going to same was a less genteel version.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Going back to 'yoof', this word if commonly used to refer to media and arts people trying t get down an dirty with the 'kids', a way of referring to children which I intensely dislike unless used between members of a family.
  • Re knowen and growen, some American accents to my ears don't quite say words like this with 2 syllables but they do something interesting which extends the word. The word "dog" and the name "Anne" are others. The latter is "an" to me but said Ah-un, with the "un" quite diminished. Dog as daw-og versus daug. But again the second syllable diminished versus a very short word.

    I've heard Australian "no" be extended also but not quite as much. No-ow. (We watched a few seasons of Offspring on Netflix; another topic, but they should have ended it 2 or 3 seasons earlier).
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Meme for today.

    In America, you can drive for four hours and still be in the same country.
    In Great Britain, you can drive for two hours and have gone through two accent zones and one bread change.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    In America, you can drive for four hours and still be in the same country.
    There are plenty of places where you can drive for four hours and still be in the same state! (OK, there aren't quite so many places where you're not within four hours of the closest state border, but there are plenty of places where a four hour drive in a consistent direction fits within a single state.)
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    In Great Britain, you can drive for two hours and have gone through two accent zones and one bread change.

    That sounds about right. The other difference is that the two hour drive in the UK will mostly be spent stuck in traffic ;)
  • In my medium sized province in Canada, can drive easily drive 8 to 10 hours within. Sask is just a little smaller than Texas and not quite twice the size of California. American states are on average not huge. Someone may answer for Australia.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Driving from Key West to the Florida line will take about ten hours, depending on which part of the line you are driving to. Going to Pensacola will take more than twelve hours!
  • Huge is probably a matter of perspective. I tend to think of "far" as anything that requires more than a single day's driving. So around a thousand miles, then?
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    Whereas in the UK, far is anything over about an hour's drive, possibly 2 hours. Unless you frequently travel to or around Scotland, which I think alters your perspective again.

    I was talking to a friend who also used to live in the USA about just this topic - that there, we would happily drive an hour to go to the mall or for a meal, but here it feels like a long way.
  • Also very rural West Country, half an hour wouldn't get anyone far, an hour was what I drove to most things.

    And in this area, one of the standard big hospitals we're all referred to is well over an hour away by car, more like 2, 3 by public transport.

    Also commuter belt of London: going into London journeys by public transport start at an hour, can easily take two hours or more to get somewhere. I start turning party invitations down when it's a three hour journey as getting home is impossible. (That may only be 30-40 miles).
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    It's much more likely that a th sound would become a d to my Canadian ears. "Go to the badroom and have a badth after you change your clodes. What's duh madder width you dat you got so dirty you hoser" where I've put "dth" the sound is between a d and a th.

    We've also got t become d. Badderies to power something.
    To my Southern American ears, th becoming d sounds very New York/New Jersey/Northeastern, while th becoming f sounds very childlike, especially in words like wiff or baff (with or bath). That makes sense, it seems to me, since both are voiceless fricatives and so sound similar, but f doesn’t require the tongue manipulation that th does. Meanwhile, I often hear clothes become cloves in the mouths of children—again, the th in clothes and v are both voiced fricatives.
    I can imagine the voiced sound going to d (it does in Ebonics and some traditional Yorkshire accents*) but the unvoiced feels like a stretch - I'd expect t, although that could subsequently undergo voicing I suppose.
    That may depend on exactly what is meant by “Ebonics.” (FWIW, that term seems to be rarely used in the US anymore, except by those who want to denigrate the various dialects of African American English.) In my experience, that movement from a voiced th to a d happens in some dialects and accents of African American English, and it did become a feature of minstrel show songs and other stereotypes, but it’s not at all universal and sometimes overlaps with similar regional pronunciation.

    Gramps49 wrote: »
    In America, you can drive for four hours and still be in the same country.
    In Great Britain, you can drive for two hours and have gone through two accent zones and one bread change.
    Not sure what point that’s supposed to make, but it’s comparing apples and oranges. If you drive two hours (or four hours) in Britain, you’re still in the same country, just like with the US.

    Meanwhile, I have just driven four hours. I’m in the same US state as when I started, but I’ve covered at least two or three accent/dialect zones—quite likely more given the overlays of white dialects/accents and African American English dialects/accents—and two barbecue zones.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    From what I observe in linguistics groups on FB, the term for what used to be called Ebonics is now AAVE - African-American Vernacular English.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Yes, though I’m not sure AAVE was ever formally referred to as “Ebonics” by linguists in the US. This Wikipedia article gives an overview of the history and dynamics surrounding the use of the term, including the negative connotations it can carry and the reservations many have about it.

    But I was also allowing for the possibility that it might have different usage outside the US.

  • We drive 14 hours to visit our daughter and 4 hours to our cabin. Fairly typical for western Canada.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I remember one year in which we did two long drives of two/three days. In one we travelled from Scotland to northern Slovenia, passing through numerous landscapes, cultures, architecture and languages. In the other we drove through British Columbia. We passed a lot of trees.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    I remember one year in which we did two long drives of two/three days. In one we travelled from Scotland to northern Slovenia, passing through numerous landscapes, cultures, architecture and languages. In the other we drove through British Columbia. We passed a lot of trees.

    I used to think that boredom while travelling was impossible. Then we drove the length of Lake Superior, just south of the lake. With the 55 mph speed limit at that time and camping half way along it, it took most of two days and we saw only trees. The map says it's not much more than 400 miles, but it seemed like twice that.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I remember travelling in a coach for a couple of hours from London (some young people's Christian event) when I was a young adult. The person sitting next to me was Australian and she commented on how astonishing she found it that the scenery kept changing within such a short time - that we'd gone past various key buildings and countryside, and all sorts of other things. I was bewildered what point she was making, and she said that in Australia you could drive for hours without much change. This had simply never occurred to me, and it still didn't seem like something particularly one would even notice or care about, but when I went on a road trip in Canada, I finally understood her perspective. Hours of the same. And such a long journey.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    In my medium sized province in Canada, can drive easily drive 8 to 10 hours within. Sask is just a little smaller than Texas and not quite twice the size of California. American states are on average not huge. Someone may answer for Australia.

    Also in Canada: It's a full day to drive across the island of Newfoundland from the capital in St. John's, where I live, to the place on the west coast where you get the ferry to take you off the island -- a solid 10 hours of driving at least. And that's not even taking into account how big Labrador is!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    In my medium sized province in Canada, can drive easily drive 8 to 10 hours within. Sask is just a little smaller than Texas and not quite twice the size of California. American states are on average not huge. Someone may answer for Australia.

    With 2 drivers, Sydney to Melbourne of Brisbane (the capitals of the adjoining States) can be done in a day on roads of reasonable quality. Sydney to Broken Hill, almost at the far western boundary of the NSW is best made a drive extending well into the second day. The same for Wentworth at the south-western corner. The north-western corner is another matter. You can get to Bourke, a fair bit of the way, in a day and a half; from there to Tibooburra is about 450 km and you'd have to allow 8 hours plus for driving time with breaks for lunch etc on top. The road is not smooth tarmac. And when you get to South Australia or the Northern Territory let alone Queensland or Western Australia distances and times just go out.
  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    There's no doubt that people's conception of distance is shaped by where they live, and we have a tendency to imagine all countries as "country-sized".

    The first time I went overseas, to the UK, I was planning beforehand and trying to work out how long to stay in various places. There was one leg where I thought I needed to allow that I wouldn't see much on the first day after arriving by train, only to then work out that I'd easily get there in time for morning tea.

    Conversely, I've heard of an English guy who was imagining a trip from Canberra to Perth would be roughly similar to one from London to Cornwall, and was utterly shocked when Australians debated whether he could make it in 3 days (it's about 38-40 hours drive according to different websites).
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    And what was intended as a joke, sprouted legs. Oh, well.
  • It's the Ship, of course it did!

    We used to get regular laughs when family visiting from Vietnam (not ours, people in the church's) would casually toss off their intent to visit Disneyland the next morning, and maybe take in the Grand Canyon on their way back. We were like "Do you realize that's a four thousand mile round trip?"
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Nonsense. Anyone who's watched films set in foreign locations knows that all the principal sights of any given country/city are all located within easy walking distance of each other.
  • When did “partner” become the word that most Brits (and much of the English speaking world) use for what Americans would call a boyfriend or girlfriend of the same or another gender? Every time I read it used this way I think “gay/bi,” “business partner,” or “someone is making a point about gender neutral language” until I realize that that is how the word is used by many outside the US. Here in everyday language boyfriend and girlfriend are used to refer to everything more serious than casual dating as long as no formal legal relationship has been created (and no marriage engagement has been made), even if people have shared their lives and home for decades and raised children. Some people say partner but I just have never seen it catch on with people young or old unless they are trying to make a point. And I am ensconced in a liberal coastal bubble of highly educated people. Some people still say partner to refer specifically to same sex unmarried couples but they tend to be older and out of touch even if we’ll-intentioned (but that’s just my observation - shipmates who use the term that way may not be that way at all!).

    Does anyone know when or why partner began to be used that way it is in the UK and elsewhere? What term was used there before?
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I know plenty of American adults who use “partner” to refer to someone they’re living (or someone else is with but not legally married to, especially if they have kids.

  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    When did “partner” become the word that most Brits (and much of the English speaking world) use for what Americans would call a boyfriend or girlfriend of the same or another gender? Every time I read it used this way I think “gay/bi,” “business partner,” or “someone is making a point about gender neutral language” until I realize that that is how the word is used by many outside the US. Here in everyday language boyfriend and girlfriend are used to refer to everything more serious than casual dating as long as no formal legal relationship has been created (and no marriage engagement has been made), even if people have shared their lives and home for decades and raised children. Some people say partner but I just have never seen it catch on with people young or old unless they are trying to make a point. And I am ensconced in a liberal coastal bubble of highly educated people. Some people still say partner to refer specifically to same sex unmarried couples but they tend to be older and out of touch even if we’ll-intentioned (but that’s just my observation - shipmates who use the term that way may not be that way at all!).

    Does anyone know when or why partner began to be used that way it is in the UK and elsewhere? What term was used there before?

    As a first guess, it started up when the terms ‘common law husband/wife’ started to drop away. Although that feels like an unusual (unique?) victory for pedantry: in English (although not Scottish) law the only way of establishing a husband and wife relationship is through a marriage ceremony.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I know plenty of American adults who use “partner” to refer to someone they’re living (or someone else is with but not legally married to, especially if they have kids.
    Well, I totally mangled that on my phone. It should read:

    I know plenty of American adults who use “partner” to refer to someone they’re living with (or who someone else is with living with) but not legally married to, especially if they have kids.

  • When did “partner” become the word that most Brits (and much of the English speaking world) use for what Americans would call a boyfriend or girlfriend of the same or another gender?

    "Partner" implies a long-term shared-lives arrangement that girlfriend or boyfriend doesn't. I think I first encountered its use among straight couples with some sort of philosophical objection to marriage, but it was in reasonably common use for both straight and gay couples in the early 90s - definitely implying a long-term life-sharing arrangement without legal sanction.
  • None of the terms work very well. Boyfriend/girlfriend implies immaturity in the very name of it; I can't get over, say, an 80-yo introducing me to her "boyfriend." "Partner" makes me think "business," or possibly "tennis." And it's very awkward if I assume one meaning and it turns out to be the other.
  • I date myself here when I say people are "shacked up".
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    In the UK, I've been aware of people using 'partner' as a term for their significant other since around 1990. It was probably used before then, but that is when I first came across it, as a teenager.

    Just checking the OED, and the first recorded usage of 'partner' to mean 'A person who is linked by marriage to another, a spouse; a member of a couple who live together or are habitual companions; a lover.' was in 1577.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I know plenty of American adults who use “partner” to refer to someone they’re living (or someone else is with but not legally married to, especially if they have kids.

    Just because some Americans use it doesn’t mean it has entered common use though, which I don’t observe in American media or in the conversations I overhear. Maybe I’m the one living around atypical speakers of “general” American English, but the norm I have heard most of my life has been to call someone a boyfriend or girlfriend unless you are engaged, married, or have a legal domestic partnership, regardless of children or living arrangement. Partner has a connotation of self-conscious modernity which is why I think most Americans don’t use it. Even younger people I know who are very diligent about stating their preferred pronouns do not use the term partner in that way and I don’t think they have ever thought about using it. Everyone I know who issues it is British or Australian and is older than me. But maybe I’m the one who is out of touch!
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Scots has the useful term 'bidey-in'.
Sign In or Register to comment.