Ours vs. the Queen's

Differences between our English and the Queen's, as noticed by someone from India.
Anecdotes abound about the misunderstandings that arise when foreigners come to America thinking they know the language, and stories like this have enlivened many a dinner table over the years. My own favourites find the English hoist by their own petard, if not by their own pedantry. One young man, in the course of a passionate courtship, told his American girlfriend, "I'll give you a ring tomorrow." All he meant was that he would call her by telephone. But she understood him to have offered betrothal, and the relationship didn't survive the misunderstanding. That story is probably bettered by the hoary tale about the English girl who asked an American hotel clerk to "knock me up in the morning". She merely wanted to be woken up; the horrified American understood her to be soliciting a pregnancy.

2 Comments:

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11/17/2007 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Turtle Bro said...

Another fun one is that UK English uses "rubber" to refer to what US English calls an eraser.

"Do you have a rubber?" has rather different meanings...

11/18/2007 8:16 PM  

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