Asked by kryptaria
- Yes. “I would like a soda” would be met with a blank stare.
Asked by kryptaria
- Yes. “I would like a soda” would be met with a blank stare.
Asked by wailnotwhale
This question is far too complicated, reader! We’re going to need Big Data, and I’m going to have to refer you to the magical Pop vs Soda project.
But for starters, if you say ‘soda’, you are more than likely going to get a cup of plain, clear bland soda water, probably to mix with your booze. We refer to sodas as Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta, etc. like you’re suggesting. However, I’ve heard southerners use ‘Coke’ as a descriptor for anything carbonated, a cultural quirk that sounds like it might lead to a lot of confusion and maybe diabetes.
If you’re interested in drilling down into specifics, here’s where this handy map comes into play:
- Katie (who, by the way, is a midwesterner and refers to it as ‘pop.’)
Asked by chgo1963
“Tosser” is another word for “wanker” – the ur-British swearword, at least according to US sitcom writers. Both label the person at whom they are aimed as an idiot, fool, dimwit or general arse.
Like all such words, “tosser” can be used with modifiers or intensifiers. Thus, a commonly heard British phrase such as “bum-faced and entitled prime minister David Cameron is a tosser” might become “bum-faced and entitled prime minister David Cameron is a right tosser”. In this instance, “right” means “particular”, “especial” or “big”. See also “smug”, “Tory” and “fatuous”.
But so much for childish personal abuse. In terms of self>-abuse, both “tosser” and “wanker” refer to the practice of pleasuring one’s self – ie: masturbation, ie: “tossing” or “wanking” – which was hitherto believed to enfeeble the mind. So what goes around comes around. As it were.
Advantage: UK. We swear better.
(Special bonus fact extracted from a puerile mind: In the wartime Royal Air Force, “wanks” was a slang term for booze. Hence the common saying: “Can’t stop now, Carruthers old chap. I’m off for wanks with the Groupie.” “Groupie” meaning ‘group captain”, you see…)
The spot linked to above is currently in heavy rotation. In it, a regular Joe* describes the difficulties of having low testosterone or, as the ad rather prissily puts it, ‘low T’. [Insert joke about the absolute bugger that is running out of Earl Grey.] Then he says his doctor prescribed him this gel stuff, and we get a bunch of shots of said chap at a gas station** with his wife, filling his powerful vintage car*** with no-doubt premium gas****.
What I love about the ad, however, is the inevitable disclaimer that follows:
“Women and children should avoid contact with application sites; discontinue and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child or signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. Men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer and women who are or who may become pregnant or breast feeding should not use [the gel]. Serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate; possible increased risk of prostate cancer; lower sperm count; swelling of ankles, feet or body; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing during sleep; and blood clots in the legs. Tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids or medicines to decrease blood clotting.”
Presumably one should also not rub the stuff on one’s self after midnight, lest one turn into a gremlin, or let it spill into the water supply, lest one create Godzilla.
Advantage: US – because your extraordinarily lax regulatory regime means such ads are possible.
*UK: the man on the Clapham (US: dreadful bit of south London, full of estate agents and wok bars) omnibus (US/UK: one of those late things one rides if one is unlucky enough to have to).
***US/UK: clunkingly obvious metaphor
There may not be anyone, or anything, in the known world more English to English than Logan Taylor. Logan is a 25-year-old from suburban Los Angeles who is consumed (and, increasingly, illustrated) by one great passion: Arsenal Football Club. He’s also a friend of the writer Sam Blum, who spoke to him as part of a fascinating piece on America’s growing appreciation for Britain’s dominant cultural export – round-ball football.
Sam’s piece launched today on The Guardian, and in it Logan explains his very American love for extreme football fandom, a very British – in this case, very English – phenomenon:
I’ve found this outlet for performing loyalty, perpetuating a legendary verbal history, defending something at times very blindly and feeling pride in something only slightly larger than myself, all the while feeling this great sense of brotherhood and immortality.
And you thought watching the Premier League in the US was only about getting up on a Saturday, marvelling at Mesut Özil and wondering what on earth NBC’s British pundits are on about when they advocate ‘getting it into the mixer’.
Advantage: US, increasingly
(Picture: Jay Oligny)
London office throws down the gauntlet here. “I find these American-style pancakes almost unbearably exotic,” writes Henry Dimbleby.
This a public service broadcast, about Public Service Broadcasting. The public service part lies in my telling you, E2E’s American public, that Public Service Broadcasting are among you now.
The video above should give you an idea of what these two young British chaps do – they take old public service or propaganda films, from the US and the UK, and weave bits of them into driving, ambitious, thrilling soundscapes that remain gloriously and eccentrically British while hovering somewhere over the middle of the Atlantic, possibly in a Spitfire plane.
Think the sound and vision of the 1940s, stirred into the sound and vision of the early 1980s and then broadcast (publicly) in the 2010s.
It’s absolutely remarkable stuff, and it will be broadcast to the public in Boston on Friday night, New York on Saturday night and at points south and west – and indeed SXSW – thereafter.
Advantage (until they go home): US
F*ck yeah, British television.
The mothership has put together this excellent gallery that illustrates British influence over global television trends in recent years.
Advantage: … isn’t this one a bit obvious?
Dr Johnson had Boswell, Picasso had Apollinaire, and Paris Hilton had Perez Hilton. In such a role – writer-upper, extoller, composer of paens for the aeons – the world’s foremost exponent of the esoteric wonders of chap-hop has, apparently, me.
I’ll say just this, then: here’s Mr B’s brand new YouTubular video, which is for a thought-provoking, not to say rather pointed ditty entitled ‘Hip-Hop Was To Blame After All’.
The flick was, evidently, shot around New York, from Times Square to the Bronx, and I think that makes it a cross- (or even counter-) cultural marvel entirely fitting and proper for this blog. And it is viewable worldwide now.
Advantage: US. Because now you know what all the fuss is about.
In the US, Sunday night means only one thing – Downton Abbey’s season-four finale.
In my mind, at least, this presents a chance to get something off my chest. I, an Englishman in New York, loathe Downton Abbey, and am utterly agog that so many Americans feel quite the opposite. I’ve explained why here. Do please read and then use the comments section to tell me what a whining, misanthropic arse (or ass) I am. To get you in the mood, here’s a taster:
“America – Downton Abbey thinks it’s better than you. It is a show about class in the way that Britain is about class, which is the way in which America is supposedly not. And Downton is not just about the British class system. It is a product and expression of the British class system. A highly approving expression, a show of and for the 1%. And 99% of America doesn’t need any more of that.”
That about sums it up. However so, self-immolatingly, does this: despite my feelings towards the show, I will never, but ever, tire of telling anyone and everyone that in London, I used to know and work with Lady Edith. Get me.
Advantage: US – because it’s not too late. You’re a season behind. You can still kick the habit.
Asked by steveistakenbutsteveistakenisnt
you just described the Grammys, so I think we’re on point
We endorse this translation.
A reader has been in touch with some extremely distressing news: British pubs are increasingly using the lamentably American ‘washrooms’ on signs pointing the way to the toilets.
Why is this so distressing? Because the word ‘toilet’ is a perfectly good one, void, as it were, of fey avoidance of what the room it designates is for. It is a room with a toilet in it, and a toilet is for… voiding one’s self into.
America: be advised that the room in question is not for ‘washing’ or ‘bathing’ in, or for ‘powdering’. Nor indeed – although I admit my apparently very British habit of reading six-volume presidential biographies in there thrives because I like the atmos – is it for ‘resting’.
No. America, the word for the small room to which one goes to empty one’s bowels is ‘toilet’.
Of course, there’s a slang element to all this too.
In a British pub (there are no American pubs – you have bars and mighty fine they are too), the toilets may also, perhaps confusingly, be referred to by many terms: lavs, gents or bogs, say. Or indeed my favourite: ‘the pisser’. This is a) more sophisticated than it sounds, being derived (almost certainly, if I could be bothered to look) from the French and thus highly fancy ‘pissoir’, and b) not to be referred to in an American bar, what with it almost certainly leading to a highly amusing cross-cultural contretemps about why one would wish to urinate on an irritating person, thing or general situation. And so on and so forth.
Handy English/American vocabulary chart for foodies. Buy the print here.
This is relevant to english2english interests
In answer to yesterday’s minor diplomatic incident about British vs American bacon, Colin Horgan, hockey writer and Guardian Canadian #2, writes:
Whether it’s up against an English “rasher” or just good old plain ‘merican strip bacon, Canadian – or “back” – bacon wins out. That is, as long as you prefer a bit more salt and a little less fat. Oh, and (sometimes) a bit of peameal.
Asked by perspectivelute
– Martin Pengelly with the answer
Yes, a rasher is one strip of bacon.
One strip of succulent, juicy, thick-cut, sizzling, smoked-or-not-according-to-taste deliciousness, lovingly cleaved from the most appealing bit of the nearest passing pig. Preferably this rasher, once grilled, will be joined by one or two others in between two slices of fresh white bread and served with only insouciantly melting butter and a mug of coffee the consistency, colour and strength of bitumen for company.
Half-a-concession: I suppose any number of strips of American “bacon”, in all their attenuated, charred and tasteless thinness – as brittle and full of post-nuclear angst as a Giacometti sculpture – would be needed to get anywhere near, in terms of taste, one rasher of British bacon. So maybe it’s one of those imperial/metric issues.
I doubt it, though.