Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    I remember the saying that if (sweet) corn was tall enough to shade a crow on the Fourth of July, that you would have a good crop.
  • jedijudy wrote: »
    I remember the saying that if (sweet) corn was tall enough to shade a crow on the Fourth of July, that you would have a good crop.

    The expression I remember is that corn should be "knee-high by the Fourth of July."
  • An American book I read recently talked about a small town where "the inn doubled as the bar". This confused me. What distinction is being made please?
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    It’s common enough in America for hotels to not have bars or restaurants. Other literature I’ve read in the world suggests that’s less common elsewhere.
  • Ah, but to this Brit an inn would always be a bar. A hotel is something different.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 17
    It sounds like they're saying "the place where you could rent a room for the night was also the place locals liked to gather for a drink". This is noteworthy because it's rarer here. Important to keep in mind here are that eating, drinking and sleeping places are not necessarily the same establishments or even associated, particularly as each requires an entirely different set of licenses and requirements, which can be a real chore.

    I hesitate to refer to the small town place as a hotel also because to my ears that implies a size and capacity less likely to be found in a small town (though not impossible , particularly if the place is near a recreational area). "Motel" would be smaller but also probably seedier, which is likely why the author chose "inn". "Bar" = pub.
  • Ah, but to this Brit an inn would always be a bar. A hotel is something different.
    Yes, here an inn is primarily a lodging.

  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    An inn can mean just a bar? Is this any different from a pub or tavern?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Strictly in UK usage an inn ought to offer accommodation, but it would normally be expected to have a bar.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited August 17
    In GK Chesterton's The Flying Inn the whole point is that the peripatetic protagonists are offering alcohol in a Prohibitionist England
    Spoiler
    It's all a Muslim plot
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Ah, but to this Brit an inn would always be a bar. A hotel is something different.

    So when according to the King James Bible Luke says, "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn" he was saying that Mary had her baby in a barn because there was no room in the bar? :wink:
  • Lyda--

    Good thing, too. Imagine the rumors that might have gotten around!
  • I wouldn't put it past Him, to arrange his birth in such a place...
  • Further proof that God is an Anglican!
    :smile:
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited August 18
    Whoops , goofed up. :blush:
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm fairly sure that historically, 'corn' = any grain, and usually the one that is most widely grown where the speaker happens to be. So in England that would be (and is) wheat. In the north of Scotland that would be oats. "Fair waved the golden corn in Canaan's pleasant land" also meant wheat both to J.H. Gurney who wrote the hymn and would have done to the inhabitants of ancient Canaan if they'd spoken English.

    Or

    "When fleecy flocks the hills adorn
    And valleys smile with wavy corn"

    from Handel's Judas Maccabeus. That certainly would not have been maize.
  • The "Do Drop Inn." of my youth was most defiantly just a bar. USA
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    An inn is a pub with food and lodging. A hotel is primarily lodgings and may or may not offer food and/or drink.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Though many a pub with "Inn" in its name does not offer accommodation, whilst many a pub without the word "Inn" in the name does.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 18
    I should add a hotel would normally be expected to have a bar, although smaller guest houses might well not and B&Bs almost invariably not. Virtually all would offer food, at least breakfast (hence B&B which is pretty much the bottom of the mainstream hospitality trade). Hotel bars are often poor however (cask ale is a rarity and there's little point in a bar that only has plastic beer) while those in inns, which are essentially pubs, are usually rather better.

    Inns, thus defined, are my preference.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    It used to puzzle my childish mind, while reading ponderously-translated Dumas, why the nobility all lived in Hotels.
  • To my mind the defining feature of an inn is that it serves alcohol; it may or may not accommodate guests. That's how I've understood the Biblical narrative, although the idea of Jesus being born in a bar is appealing. Lounge or Saloon?
  • The "Do Drop Inn." of my youth was most defiantly just a bar. USA

    I remember hearing of bars named "Dew Drop Inn" -- in the small town where I grew up, we had the "Dew Drop Garage," which missed the pun completely. The bar, located at the only intersection in town that had a blinking traffic light, was the "Blinker Inn."
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    B&B which is pretty much the bottom of the mainstream hospitality trade.
    Not necessarily so these days: some are really upmarket and luxurious, they just don't serve an evening meal. https://www.old-station.co.uk/

  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    And don't forget 'temperance hotels' that used not to have bars, and 'guest houses', which have no relation whatever to a German gasthof. A guest house would be more like a French chambre d'hote, though in my experience considerably less cheerful.
  • Motel - thought this was an abbreviation for "motor hotel", meaning drive up and you park right in front of the door of the room. Hotel is a multifloor building. A recent trend is "express hotels". You phone when you get to the door of the building, you get buzzed in or provided a code. No staff in sight. No place for any form of food and drink, maybe a vending machine. Probably AirBnB influenced.
  • I'm pretty sure they were around quite a few years before AirBnB. I'm pretty sure I heard of them in France getting on for 20 years ago, though I may be mistaken.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...Ross, you mentioned another way to use "brilliant". Could you expand please?
    Using it as an expression (an event or turn of fortune is "brilliant") that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with lighting or ideas.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    I'm fairly sure that historically, 'corn' = any grain, and usually the one that is most widely grown where the speaker happens to be. So in England that would be (and is) wheat. In the north of Scotland that would be oats. "Fair waved the golden corn in Canaan's pleasant land" also meant wheat both to J.H. Gurney who wrote the hymn and would have done to the inhabitants of ancient Canaan if they'd spoken English.

    You're saying here either you know for sure the inhabitants of ancient Canaan grew wheat, or that Scots don't speak English.
  • Motel - thought this was an abbreviation for "motor hotel", meaning drive up and you park right in front of the door of the room. Hotel is a multifloor building. A recent trend is "express hotels". You phone when you get to the door of the building, you get buzzed in or provided a code. No staff in sight. No place for any form of food and drink, maybe a vending machine. Probably AirBnB influenced.

    A motel could have two floors. The chief difference is the doors open on the outside instead of on the inside on a hallway. Motels generally do not have lobbies other than a tiny standing space for people waiting to check in.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    mousethief wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm fairly sure that historically, 'corn' = any grain, and usually the one that is most widely grown where the speaker happens to be. So in England that would be (and is) wheat. In the north of Scotland that would be oats. "Fair waved the golden corn in Canaan's pleasant land" also meant wheat both to J.H. Gurney who wrote the hymn and would have done to the inhabitants of ancient Canaan if they'd spoken English.

    You're saying here either you know for sure the inhabitants of ancient Canaan grew wheat, or that Scots don't speak English.
    I know from my mother’s direct experience, and to an extent from my own also that in the north-east of Scotland ‘corn’ was used to mean oats. Here is Wiktionary on the subject, and Merriam Webster agrees.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    To put it another way, a motel provides bedrooms and ample parking for people travelling from A to B; it will normally provide at least a simple breakfast delivered to the room, but this may be more elaborate and in a dining room. It may also provide dinner in a restaurant/dining room but not always.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm fairly sure that historically, 'corn' = any grain, and usually the one that is most widely grown where the speaker happens to be. So in England that would be (and is) wheat. In the north of Scotland that would be oats. "Fair waved the golden corn in Canaan's pleasant land" also meant wheat both to J.H. Gurney who wrote the hymn and would have done to the inhabitants of ancient Canaan if they'd spoken English.


    You're saying here either you know for sure the inhabitants of ancient Canaan grew wheat, or that Scots don't speak English.
    On the former, on such evidence as anyone has, that appears to be the case. On the latter, no I'm not. Just as olives don't grow properly north of a line that is well south of the British Isles, so, the northern limit for wheat has meant the north of Scotland grew oats as its staple grain in stead. Plant breeding and global warming may change that, but it's the historic position.

    Even though both have become staples, maize in much of Africa and potatoes in much of northern Europe, nowhere in the Old World grew maize or potatoes before Columbus.
  • Yes, I know that the Scots used the word 'corn' for oats. That's part of why I brought them into the argument, which was implying that English speakers use 'corn' to mean 'wheat'. Clearly all English speakers do NOT use 'corn' to mean 'wheat'. Get it? Get it?
  • Another one that puzzles me is "theatre". In America it seems to be a place that shows films; in England that would be a cinema. What do Americans call a place where actors perform live?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Yes, I know that the Scots used the word 'corn' for oats. That's part of why I brought them into the argument, which was implying that English speakers use 'corn' to mean 'wheat'. Clearly all English speakers do NOT use 'corn' to mean 'wheat'. Get it? Get it?
    @mousethief with all due respect and trying hard to be less abrasive than you are, you either haven't read what I've actually said or are using your own prejudices to misunderstand it.

    1. In England, the English word corn = wheat.
    2. In parts of Northern Scotland, the English word corn = oats.
    3. That's because for climatic reasons in the one, the 'standard' staple grain crop grown is wheat and in the other it is oats.
    4. That indicates that by usage what 'corn' means is not a species of grain but whichever grain crop, the grain staple, happens to be most grown where the speaker is.

    In parts of Scotland where the language is Gaelic, they will use different words because Gaelic is a different language that is not particularly closely related to English. For all I know, there may be other dialect words used in various parts of England and Scotland, but they won't be part of standard English.

    In linguistic terms, if in parts of North America 'corn' just means maize, then it is those parts that are the outliers. One would expect 'corn' to mean maize in areas where that is the staple crop and wheat where the staple crop is wheat.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 19
    [tangent]
    Gaelic for corn is arbhar apparently, but oats are coirce. (Arnhar defined as, the fruit of a cereal crop.) Maize is maise, presumably because it’s a loan word. Some bits of the internet give cruithneachd as wheat.
    [/tangent]
  • Another one that puzzles me is "theatre". In America it seems to be a place that shows films; in England that would be a cinema. What do Americans call a place where actors perform live?
    They are both theaters here, though the one where movies are shown will often be called a “movie theater.”

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    In linguistic terms, if in parts of North America 'corn' just means maize, then it is those parts that are the outliers. One would expect 'corn' to mean maize in areas where that is the staple crop and wheat where the staple crop is wheat.

    Here, where both are grown, with wheat being by far the larger crop, wheat is used for wheat and corn for maize.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Huck Finn would surely have called it 'Injun corn'. I suppose that is no longer an acceptable term. Pity, it would have saved a lot of confusion, though it would have killed this conversation stone dead.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    Huck Finn would surely have called it 'Injun corn'. I suppose that is no longer an acceptable term. Pity, it would have saved a lot of confusion, though it would have killed this conversation stone dead.
    "Indian corn"


  • The interesting thing about corn and other words, is that differences within countries seem as great as between them. This is an obvious consequence of dialects, but it means that some US friends are more intelligible to me, than some UK ones. I know this is obvious, but Brits speak a different language from Brits.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Strictly in UK usage an inn ought to offer accommodation, but it would normally be expected to have a bar.

    In Dungeons & Dragons an inn always offer hot meals, ale, and accommodation. Also if you sit around long enough there will be adventures.

  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    One of the search links claims Americans only started using “ginger” to describe red hair as a result of the popularity of Harry Potter. Is this true?!?

    As an American with red hair, I never heard the word "ginger" for most of my life.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    In Dungeons & Dragons an inn always offer hot meals, ale, and accommodation. Also if you sit around long enough there will be adventures.
    The hot meal is stew unless the DM has read Diana Wynne Jones.
    If there are not adventures there will either be a bar room brawl or an assassination attempt.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Another one that puzzles me is "theatre". In America it seems to be a place that shows films; in England that would be a cinema. What do Americans call a place where actors perform live?
    They are both theaters here, though the one where movies are shown will often be called a “movie theater.”

    A sort of related oddity is that the place in a hospital where you go to have your spare parts removed is the 'operating theatre' in the UK, but is the OR - 'operating room' - in North America. Do British surgeons consider themselves to be performance artists?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Originally it was a theatre. The operation could be watched for either education, or, I suppose, entertainment.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Just finished The Lost Man by Jane Harper. A good book, but the way. It is about Three brothers in the Outback. One of them dies, but is he the lost man? Anyway, one of the words she used that was a little different for me was "caravan." I took it to mean a camper trailer, given the context of the story.

    Here in the US, a caravan would be two or more vehicles going along together. Another phrase for caravan in the US would be a convey (especially with 18-wheelers or artics).
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Another phrase for caravan in the US would be a convey (especially with 18-wheelers or artics).
    I think you mean convoy. :wink:

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Another phrase for caravan in the US would be a convey (especially with 18-wheelers or artics).
    I think you mean convoy. :wink:

    quite so.
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