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UK/US Translations: Every Planet Has an Atlantic


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#18721

smrou

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 8:16 AM

Momentarily I thought this was interesting.


In America, this means “we’ll be there in a moment,” but in the UK, it means “we’ll be there FOR a moment.”

At least in America it means both. And at least according to Mark Liberman in this Language Log post, it's used to mean "for a moment" more than 95% of the time.

Edited by smrou, Apr 9, 2012 @ 8:16 AM.

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#18722

WhatDoYouKnow

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

DANA: Momentarily does not mean “in a moment.”
DAVE: Here’s 2 dissolving to 3.
DANA: Thank you. It means “for a moment.”
JEREMY: Yes.
DANA: That makes me crazy.
JEREMY: We’ve been wondering what the source was.
DANA: Let’s see a graphic for Seattle.
CHRIS: Coming.
DANA: It means “for a moment,” not “in a moment.”
CHRIS: Seattle’s up.
DANA: On the plane when they say “We’ll be landing momentarily,” I call over a flight attendant, and I tell them, “if we land momentarily, it won’t give the passengers enough time to get off the plane.”
JEREMY: And once safely inside the airport, how long do they usually detain you for questioning?
DANA: Well, they know me by now.

From an episode of Sports Night. (If I remember correctly, Dana learns by the end of the episode that both meanings are actually correct.)
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#18723

Writing Wrongs

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Posted Apr 14, 2012 @ 6:13 PM

I've started watching the British detective series "A Touch of Frost" and wondered if someone could tell me why the detectives call senior officers "gov" or "gov'nuh?. Thanks.
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#18724

Heatherbelle

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 6:39 AM

To be honest, I'm not sure. But it's a long standing tradition in UK police dramas. Not just Touch of Frost.
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#18725

Tyrant

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 1:30 PM

It's a short form of 'governor'; i.e. it's just an informal term meaning 'boss'.
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#18726

Allicat

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 9:48 PM

I've heard Americans refer to "downtown" but I don't know what that means.
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#18727

kwynne38

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 3:37 AM

Its the area the British would call the City centre, where all the shops ands businesses along with the Administrative Area's are, not sure why it should be "downtown" though.
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#18728

EllyF

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 6:23 AM

According to Wikipedia, "The term is thought to have been coined in New York City, where it was in use by the 1830s...As the town of New York grew into a city, the only direction it could grow on the island was toward the north, proceeding upriver from the original settlement (the "up" and "down" terminology in turn came from the customary map design in which up was north and down was south).Thus, anything north of the original town became known as "uptown" (Upper Manhattan), while the original town (which was also New York's only major center of business at the time) became known as "downtown" (Lower Manhattan)."

Glad to see this discussed; I actually hadn't realized "downtown" was an exclusively American term. Yet another one of those Americanisms that's been tripping me up when I write Who fanfic. There are so many terms we just assume are universal to the English language, when in fact they're limited to one continent!
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#18729

Taeolas

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 10:24 AM

I never realized that was a North American term, but it makes sense. Interesting to see it grew out of New York City's growth.

I know in Ontario, the city of Waterloo rebranded their 'downtown' area "Uptown" to help distinguish it from the City of Kitchener's Downtown which is literally a few KM's down King Street from it. (Kitchener-Waterloo are effectively one city, and they've all but swallowed Cambridge now too).

In New Brunswick, the city of Saint John doesn't have a downtown; their central core was rebranded as "Uptown" for tourism reasons and as a rebranding/rejuvination effect decades ago, and (according to Wiki) because it is located on a hill. (I only vaguely remember the details from long ago myself)

In my own experiences, and other than when the town/city has put an effort in rebranding it, I usually see Downtown as the central core, usually the oldest section of the city. Sometimes there will be an uptown area as well, which would be a 'newer' area of commercial development, and (at least where I've grown up) tends to be located literally higher than the downtown area. Usually because the downtown would have grown around a river/lake, and the new region would be situated away from the water, up higher on the river valley walls.
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#18730

Allicat

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Posted May 27, 2012 @ 10:41 PM

That's interesting and I like the New York origin story. In Australia we call that area the CBD (Central Business District).
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#18731

cutecouple

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 6:46 AM

The US 4th of July midweek doesn't quite have the same ring to it as a weekend. Granted, other countries have midweek holidays as well, but overall it's a silly thing.
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#18732

kwynne38

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Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 3:25 AM

The British would probaly have a similar holiday on the nearest Monday to thye 4th so we could still have a long weekend.
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#18733

Alexandria Bay

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Posted Jul 3, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

But the date is the holiday, they're synonymous: July 4th Independence Day. It can only be July 4th, just as New Year's Day can only be January 1st. Other civic holidays are celebrated on movable dates, usually Mondays or Fridays: Memorial Day is the last Monday in May, Labor Day is the first Monday in September, Presidents Day can be either a Friday or Monday in February (or if you're lucky, both so you get a 4 day weekend), Thanksgiving is the 3rd Thursday in November and a lot of people get the Friday off, as well. My state has a holiday on Good Friday although they don't call it Good Friday. Because we totally honor the concept of separation of church and state, we do.

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Edited by Alexandria Bay, Jul 3, 2012 @ 6:44 AM.

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#18734

Writing Wrongs

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Posted Jul 4, 2012 @ 12:36 PM

I'm curious to know how people from other countries refer to us: "The United States", "America" or "The States"?
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#18735

FoolishWanderer

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Posted Jul 4, 2012 @ 4:49 PM

I always say America. If I'm being polite, of course. :)
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#18736

TheSporkWielder

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Posted Jul 4, 2012 @ 10:36 PM

I'm curious to know how people from other countries refer to us: "The United States", "America" or "The States"?


My Hungarian students always said "America."

Edited by TheSporkWielder, Jul 4, 2012 @ 10:36 PM.

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#18737

megspenchant

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Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 6:37 AM

Seconding America.
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#18738

derekevans

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Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 3:46 PM

I always say, "the US" or "the United States."
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#18739

FoolishWanderer

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Posted Jul 5, 2012 @ 8:12 PM

This is differences between Australia and Canada. Interesting and surprising. The use of cheques really surprised me. And why the hell isn't the GST included in the actual price? It's very strange to expect to pay more for things than what was actually listed. What stands out to you?

Edited by FoolishWanderer, Jul 5, 2012 @ 8:13 PM.

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#18740

Alexandria Bay

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 7:22 AM

A companion list about what she likes better about Canada would be nice. In spite of the disclaimer, it sounds a little whiney because it's one-sided.
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#18741

FoolishWanderer

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 7:43 AM

That's true. But it really is funny the things you accept as first-world standard, that aren't.
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#18742

Radagast

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Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 7:17 PM

I'm curious to know how people from other countries refer to us: "The United States", "America" or "The States"?


'The US' or 'The States' for me (Canadian).
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#18743

Buni

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Posted Jul 8, 2012 @ 2:39 PM

'The US' or 'The States' for me (Canadian).

Likewise for me (not Canadian, just a pedant who maintains that 'America' is the continent[s]).
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#18744

Mack the Spoon

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Posted Jul 21, 2012 @ 12:22 AM

I got in the habit of referring to my home country as "The States" or "The US" while studying in Canada, but that has turned out to be confusing here in Southeast Asia. I get some confused looks unless I say "America". I suppose "USA" would work, but I have never referred to my home country as "USA" (not in speech, anyway - that's what I put on official forms under "nationality" of course). For some reason that just seems weird, even if I say "the USA".
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#18745

Ocipital

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Posted Jul 21, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

I'm curious to know how people from other countries refer to us: "The United States", "America" or "The States"?


Informally I might say America, but I'd more likely use the more formal "The US" to describe the country. When used as an Adjective I'd be much more likely to say American, e.g. The American television show Person of Interest, The American Band REM, but if the noun is serious i'd use 'the US' as an adjective. e.g. the US President, the US drugs war.

I'd never ssy 'The States', 'The United States' could be used in place of 'The US' but rarely. USA I would never use orally but might use it in writing
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#18746

John Potts

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Posted Jul 25, 2012 @ 5:48 AM

I try to say "the US" (or USA), but do say America (or if I'm being disparaging, the even less accurate "the Yanks").
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#18747

Gwendolyn

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Posted Jul 25, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

This is probably a stupid question, but if it's "team GB" for the Olympics does that mean athletes from Northern Ireland, being part of the United Kingdom, but not Great Britain are on their own or are they just cool with it being called team GB as opposed to team UK?
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#18748

John Potts

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Posted Jul 26, 2012 @ 5:31 PM

I'm pretty sure "Team GB" covers all the UK. There aren't that many Northern Irish athletes in any case (though former Minister of Sport Kate Hoey was one, and also a former Olympian) but I assume they tolerate the inaccuracy for their chance to compete.
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#18749

Shanna Marie

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Posted Jul 27, 2012 @ 1:55 PM

"The States" seems to be largely the way people associated with the US military refer to their home country while overseas. You talk about things back home being "stateside." So, when you talk about returning to the US, you'd say you're going back stateside. I hadn't realized how much that infiltrated the way I talk because I now tend to refer to the country as "The States" even while living here, and I even do the "stateside" vs. "overseas" thing.
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#18750

John Potts

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Posted Jul 27, 2012 @ 3:43 PM

Love the fact that in the Olympic Opening Ceremony (that I'm currently watching) the choir actually sung the first and second verse of the National Anthem. I'm just slightly disappointed they didn't carry on to talk about how they wish the Queen would "Scatter her enemies", "Confound their Politics" and "Frustrate their Knavish tricks" which might seem a bit politically incorrect these days. Though not half as much as hoping* she might "...sedition hush, And like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush," (Take that, Alex Salmond!)

* That is, the 4th (5th?) Verse hopes she will, I'm not agreeing with the sentiment

Edited by John Potts, Jul 27, 2012 @ 3:50 PM.

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