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  #235 - What Goes Around                                                                   New episodes Monday, Wednesday and Friday
What Goes Around

 
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Sunday, April 1, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS: My US Readers will understand the slang term "pissed" as meaning "annoyed," but my Commonwealth Readres would be wondering "Why would she be drunk?" Which she might be, but that's not the message intended. Such regional variations in the use of the English language cause a lot of confusion.

For example, In England, "all day" means between Breakfast and Tea Time, where in the US it means all day. Where a Brit would exclaim "Blimey! As I got off the lift, a lorry went right through that zebra crossing and smashed into the chemist's!", an American might say "Hey! What are YOU lookin' at?" And each would suspect the other is mentally deficient.

These language differences can even lead to world-altering misunderstandings. Many Historians know that "knock up" in Great Britain means to come by the house and knock on the door as for a visit, where in the States it means "impregnate out of wedlock." Supposedly George Washington might have fought on the side of the British in the American Revolutionary War, if he hadn't received a letter in early 1776 from a high-ranking British military officer, which included the line: "When I arrive in the Colonies next month, it would give me great pleasure to knock up your sister."

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Last Revised: April 1, 2007 © 2003-2007 Evan M. Nichols