Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Queen's English

There's no escaping this word.

I figure that I can take a break from describing everything we've been doing in England to discuss some of the cultural differences that we've run into. A favorite (or favourite, and the Brits spell it) past time of the Brits and the Americans has been 'why your language is stupid'. The Brits have 'u's in words like colour and flavour. They also pronounce the letter 'z' as zed instead of zee. Other words like 'organise' and 'centre' have obvious variations as well.

Hearing the difference between English accents has been really entertaining as well. The northerners here have a more notable, and thicker accents, while the southerners tend to have the more proper sounding, posh London accents that Americans think of when we think of England. It's funny how we speak the same language, yet we have very different ways of speaking.

It has been fun learning some new words and/or meanings here though. For instance the word 'piss' is pretty vulgar in the US, but here is used more casually. In the US there are two meanings 1. angry 2. urinating, but in England 'getting pissed' more commonly means getting drunk. 'Taking the piss out of someone' means that you're joking with them. Speaking of urinating, no one here says bathroom, it's always toilet or the loo. 'Pants' means underwear here, and 'trousers' are pants. There are countless other examples, haha and each one has been really entertaining to discover. My favorite colloquialism is 'cheers'. The English say it as a more casual version of 'Thanks'. Hearing thanks over and over gets annoying, and 'cheers' just has a nice ring to it when the English say it!

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