• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

I blame YouTube, how many more Americanisms are we going to have to suffer ?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,918
Reaction score
281
Location
Sussex UK
We can hardly claim consistency there though - if you go to Nottingham, they call roundabouts "traffic islands" or just "islands". Where I grew up, "traffic islands" were the little raised areas in the road (usually with a road sign on) to separate traffic. Took me a while to figure out what they were talking about the first time I drove around the area with one of my OH's family navigating in the passenger seat!
What my wife calls a 'snicket' or perhaps a 'ginnel' I call a 'twitten'. Our children - when they were little - used to speak differently (in terms of accent and idiom) to each of us (e.g. saying 'bath' with a short or a long 'a' according to which of us they were speaking).
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
762
Location
PA, US
It would be easy (for a foreigner) to imagine "American" as some kind of homogenous language. I think that - in spite of TV/internet - there is still some rich variation in accent and idiom across the US (just as there is across the UK) - I found this Youtube vid (no irony) absolutely fascinating:
Also: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfZFeqnCUQDo5IvedomAsghqDAZwfHgZr
There's just as much surprise here when we hear there are a lot of dialects in England, because everyone is so geographically close there.

But, yes, almost every region here has a different accent and the hard core locals in some places are almost unintelligible.

It doesn't always make sense, either. I'm in Pittsburgh, and 3 hours South of here in west Virginia and western Virginia, people sound southern like an old movie. If you go further south, then people start to sound less southern again, and then you go far south enough and some of them are Creole. I can identify central pa, Philly, Baltimore accent when I talk to people, but never noticed it when I lived there.

As far as the English go, I didn't think about the accents until I heard one infomercial guy sounding unlike another infomercial guy. Apparently, if you're going to sell a small drink blender in the U.S., it needs to be pitched by someone with an English accent. One similar to Paul sellers.

But what we don't have the same fascination with is correcting speech as I've noticed English folks to do. We just call the person we were talking to a hick or yokel after we walk away. The two that water me off the most here are..."yesterday, I seen a guy...." and "so, I says to them...".
 

lucgizi

New member
Joined
16 Mar 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
13
Location
Oxford
Don't get me started on 'aluminium'
I was going to have a go about alumin- um. But after it was first invented by the Danes the process for smelting was first patented by an American so I suppose it’s fair doos, and they can call it what they want.
But in actual fact it was Sir Humphrey Davey who confused everything which led the Americans to call it that.
Then again, the rest of the world says 'aluminium', so no excuse to drop a whole syllable
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
1,669
Reaction score
839
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
I didn't realise that both spellings were used. I had assumed it followed the pattern I've seen in most American English words with the same spelling for all meanings.

For example, we use practice as a noun and practise as a verb; in America I believe practice is used regardless; similarly "meter" is a measuring device in English and "metre" is a distance; but in America they're both "meter" so you have to use the context to work out whether a "micrometer" is measuring tool (as it always is in England; with the emphasis on the second syllable) or another name for a micron (micrometre - emphasis on the first syllable). We would, however, use vice for any meaning and "vise" is just a typo. I learn something new every day and all that...

I definitely prefer English spellings and meanings and would only ever use them, but I generally don't get that worked up about the use of American terms. I do, however, think there's a special place in hell reserved for anyone who uses "degrees" to mean "degrees Fahrenheit" (as in "it's 10 degrees outside!" - "10°C isn't especially cold, what are you complaining about?"). There's a similar spot in damnation reserved for the creators of websites that put dates in mm/dd/yyyy format to maximise the confusion of anyone outside of America - if you're going to shuffle the order of the numbers in the date, at least use the name of the month so it's unambiguous.
I think some of the problem Al is that there isn’t a ° on the keyboard unless you use the microphone, yes the day and month thing is a real pita. Ian
 

Gant

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Sep 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
19
Location
West Yorkshire
If ‘vise’ is an Americanism, it’s not a recent one; see photo. This is an English vice.
The best confusion between UK and US English I came across in 30 years’ work alongside Americans was the bumbag. This is called a fanny pack in the US. In the UK only a gynaecologist would use a fanny pack. 8EC64C70-2AD0-429B-8D87-2B0E2A894EA8.jpeg
 

Dr Al

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
11 May 2020
Messages
252
Reaction score
401
Location
Dursley, Gloucestershire
I think some of the problem Al is that there isn’t a ° on the keyboard unless you use the microphone, yes the day and month thing is a real pita. Ian
True, but most of the times it's confused me is on youtube videos or TV programmes or whatever. Besides, it's not that hard† to type Alt+0176 is it?!

† Yes, yes it is that hard, purely from a memory point of view. It bugs me that Microsoft think that's a good way to enter symbols. It bugged me enough (bearing in mind that in my job I have to write a lot of symbols like μ, †, ✓, ±, ≅, §, ≥, ∴ etc) that I wrote my own tool to make it easier to type stuff like that.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
762
Location
PA, US
If ‘vise’ is an Americanism, it’s not a recent one; see photo. This is an English vice.
The best confusion between UK and US English I came across in 30 years’ work alongside Americans was the bumbag. This is called a fanny pack in the US. In the UK only a gynaecologist would use a fanny pack. View attachment 108688
well, the guy apparently had parkinson's, so a mistake here and there is forgivable.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
20,666
Reaction score
1,213
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a quay and type a word
and weight four it to say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
 

Fergie 307

Established Member
Joined
28 Dec 2019
Messages
244
Reaction score
123
Location
Sandy Bedfordshire
Much more irritated by management speak, blue sky thinking, horizon scanning, moving forward and so on. Unintelligible nonsense. Oh and people who start every sentence with "so", and those who use "like" as a form of punctuation.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
762
Location
PA, US
Much more irritated by management speak, blue sky thinking, horizon scanning, moving forward and so on. Unintelligible nonsense. Oh and people who start every sentence with "so", and those who use "like" as a form of punctuation.
big ditto to that. big big big.

"game changing"
"symbiotic"
"finding efficiencies"
"value adding"

These types of words have always been flung at me by folks who are really just saying "make more money for me, which means, just work more, but let's use buzzwords to hide what I'm really getting at - I just want more work out of you and if that means you don't record some of your time and you just eat it but get things done, we could book that as "efficiencies".

I worked at a global firm at one point, we recorded our time. I ate my share of it to make budgets as they implemented two things at once:
* enter all of your time
* no write offs at the end of each month

That's interesting when half of the work at least was budgeted to be 50 cents on the dollar (meaning in order to get that part, you had to bid half of what it cost in time. Make it up elsewhere).

Next phrase " stretch goals".

At the end of one of the years, they raised all of our billable hour requirements and mentioned that they were putting together a work-life balance team as at the same time, there were complaints of being in the office too many hours. Shortly after that, they implemented the idea of "stretch goals".

"we're not changing your goals, but we're adding stretch goals", which was a way of saying "your hours numbers have gone up 50 for the year beyond your regular goals. So, your goals haven't been changed. If you met your goals last year, you get a cost of living and then we'll look at merit separately. This year, to get a cost of living raise, you'll need to meet your stretch goals. But we're not changing your logged billing hours goals, they're still there.

I made my supervisor repeat 6 times that in order to get a cost of living raise (meeting goals was defined as a way to get zero, by definition then), I have to bill 50 more hours than last year, which is up from what it was the prior year. But you didn't change my goals. "no, we added stretch goals". OK, last year, if I met my goal, i got a cost of living raise (how generous) while my hourly rate went up 10%. This year, if I bill my goal, what do I get. "no raise". What do I have to bill to get cost of living like last year". "you have to bill at your stretch goal". OK, so you didn't change our goals "no, we didn't change anything".

These are people who get into a first tier supervisory position and they must go through a speaking class. As in, people who talked in logical terms just prior will now repeat lines like a robot that was programmed incorrectly, and they will not crack.

I mentioned in another thread that my next goal setting was to leave by the end of the year. When I did leave the next year, my supervisor said that he didn't appreciate it as two months prior due to high turnover, the supervisors had been given a retention target, and if there was too much turnover, their bonus would be docked.

"well, I guess you have a turnover stretch goal now, because I put your numbers in the tank at the start of the year".

This was a finance/mathematics related environment. The salesman who had constantly used the term "we just need to find efficiencies" was a former history major who could do nothing more than take people to lunch and obnoxiously repeat things you'd say in a meeting. I have nothing against history majors - but when they become a salesperson in a technical field and then formulaically repeat what you said while you're still talking.

rant off on business speak. It is or it isn't, please don't make up fake words to hide what is.
 

JobandKnock

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
81
Reaction score
54
Location
Lancashire
planer thicknesser jointer is the one that gets to me as it made it a pain in the ... finding the right information online at first.-
But 'thicknesser' is, relatively speaking, quite a modern term. If you were to get hold of a British woodworking machinery catalogue of the 1940s to early 1960s you'd find what we now call 'thicknessers' are referred to, almost universally, as 'panel planers' whereas the 'planer' would be referred to as an 'overhand planer'. 'Jointer' was a term once reserved for either extremely long overhand planers or specialised machines with integrated power feeds which were used to produce longitudinal finger joints (although they could just as easily produce a flat surface). In production shops from the 1920s onwards there were small 6 to 9in wide overhand planers at the sides of some benches which were specifically meant to replace the hand jack plane sometimes used in joinery assembly work. These were often called a 'jacker' and to many joiners that term refers to any overhand planer. Confusing, isn't it?

Reading some of this other stuff here about business speak I'm glad I work in an industry where there is already so much BS that we couldn't possibly pack in any more. I think. Although I don't want my MD to ever discover 'stretch goals'

Edit: Just to make it clear, this is British English I am referring to...
 
Last edited:

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,534
Reaction score
339
Location
Greece
Once upon a time there were problems, but then they morphed into "issues", which then were politicised (or politicized if you prefer) into "challenges". Newspeak.

Americans just speak very old English, which has been modified by lots of other languages. My favourite American word (which was actually English, once upon a time) is "discombobulated". Does exactly what it says on the tin. Sheer poetry.
 

NickDReed

Established Member
Joined
3 Aug 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
102
Location
Nocton
Much more irritated by management speak, blue sky thinking, horizon scanning, moving forward and so on. Unintelligible nonsense. Oh and people who start every sentence with "so", and those who use "like" as a form of punctuation.
My place loves a "robust process" despite the fact they can't develop one for love nor money. I have to laugh as workplace violence is frowned upon
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
762
Location
PA, US
Once upon a time there were problems, but then they morphed into "issues", which then were politicised (or politicized if you prefer) into "challenges". Newspeak.
To the new person who hasn't been around long, these "challenges" are usually shifted off to someone else (both in terms of work and responsibility) and presented as "an opportunity".
 

HappyHacker

Established Member
Joined
1 Jan 2016
Messages
415
Reaction score
30
Location
Chester
While working in Newcastle I dropped my car off at a garage and got a taxi into work, later in the day the same taxi driver took me back to the garage. During the total of 40 minutes I spent with the taxi driver, who was a born and breed Gordie, I don't think I understood more than two or three words he said, I just grunted at what sounded like the right places and he kept on talking. I have never had such a problem with Americans.

I have been subject to hours of management speak and have had to use it occasionally as I spent a stint working for the BBC in the Birt era. My most hated is "Lessons will be learnt" which means we will change the process so management cannot be blamed in the future and the process will be so complicated no underling will be able to do their job while following the process so we can blame them when it all goes wrong.
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
658
Reaction score
209
Location
Wiltshire
This is a funny thread.
Unfortunately we as "English speakers" have no right to complain about our language being missused and adapted.
We have stolen it from every other language and basterdised it to what it is now. I am glad we removed the need to give every object a sexual orientation which I think is one reason Engish has become so universal.

One language annoyance I have is that people have forgottten that "then" and "than" are different words, with different meanings ( I will allow 10% because of auto correct but otherwise stop it ! ) it makes me discombobulated.

Personally I think all newsreaders should still speak like they did in the 1950`s as it is so much more stylish.

Ollie
 
Last edited:
Top