Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hey England! What's with the English?

(WARNING: This blog post has nothing to do with kink. So if you have a one-track mind [like I do] I suggest you skip this entry.)

I've been an anglophile ever since I was about 17 years old watching An American Werewolf in London. I went to the UK for the first time when I was 19. Since then I've gone on vacation here a few times and have come to the UK for business probably 20 times or more over the past 20+ years.

So when my company got a project here, I was thrilled. My job is barely "work" as it is (I love what I do!) but to do it in London? Heaven.

I've been struck this trip about the huge, Atlantic Ocean-sized gap between English and English (that is, the Queen's English and American English) is utterly ridiculous. I try to post funny photos of things that are strike me hilarious, mostly very junior high sort of things.

For example, just in this blog post so far I've referenced a simple difference: vacation versus holiday. I'm staying in an apartment on this extended trip. Here it's a flat. These are easy ones. The harder ones are the less obvious: "schedule" is not an organization of dates put in order or a list of activities one has in a day. A calendar is a diary. A diary is a journal. WTF? 

At dinner last night the bottom of the menu had four words strung together (I don't remember what they were now, which is a bit like telling a joke and forgetting the punchline) that when I read them made utterly no sense. It was as if someone had pulled them out of an English grab bag and plopped them onto a menu at random. It was something like: Bubbly Spec Tiny Champers. (Any Brits who read my blog will know that isn't a real anything, but it's as close as I can get get to recalling what it actually said.) Fortunately, I was at dinner with some locals and, perplexed, I asked them what it meant. "Oh, cheap house champagne is available." WTF?

Last but certainly not least, it's nice to know that the proper English folk who invented the most widely used language on Earth can make their own mistakes once in a while. Check out this pic I snapped at dinner a few nights ago. As the old man said in one of my all-time favorite movies, A Clockwork Orange, "Try the wine?"


  1. I have been to London six times in the last three years. It has been often said, "America and England are two nations separated by a common language." Also, you have English English, Kiwi English, Irish English and Scotch English and related accents.
    On the plus side, I am impressed by the many Londoners who stay fit by running, biking and walking to work through Hyde Park and St James Park. And, I regard the London Marathon as the most scenic and well run of all the majors.
    Of all the words used in England, the funniest is "bum" for bottom because "arse" is impolite.
    Interesting rant,

  2. Hey, Joeyred51: You're right about all the "Englishes." I've ran Hyde and St. James Parks. I love running in the city, but I'm out in the country now and enjoyed a nice country lane run (though it's cold!).

  3. I only recently found out what "champers" meant. Reading spanking blogs from around the world makes me feel cultured. Lol.

  4. Hi Craig. Just found your blog. This is a really funny post. It reminds me of Monty Python: "Can we come up and have a look?" "Of course not! You are English types-ah!"

  5. Lea: You have to get your culture from somewhere...

  6. Maui Girl: Thanks! And welcome to the blog!

  7. Hi Craig.

    What's with the English? Search me, and I'm one of them :).

    One blogger (sadly, I can't remember who) posted a while back that 'to pop' in the States generally means to swat or spank, whereas we use it to indicate a brief visit - e.g. 'to pop out' or 'to pop in' or 'to pop over'. Of course I can't use that word now without being reminded of its kink potential!

    Really enjoying your blog, by the way. :)

  8. Hey Underling! Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comments. So, "to pop" Stateside doesn't really mean to swat or spank at all. I don't know where that came from, even. Maybe a regionalism perhaps?

  9. I don't get their "English" either. It weirds me out when they use an "S" instead of the CORRECT "Z" in words such as "realise."

  10. Oh, there's soooo much more, Beth! Enquiry instead of inquiry, for example.

  11. Sadly, I hear "to pop" all the time here, usually some obnoxious parent in some random big box store threatening her child, "I'm going to pop you!"

  12. So you think it is a regionalism, A'marie?

  13. Most assuredly. I learned a new version of English when I moved to the South.

  14. Craig when I used to visit LONDON, I always when to the East End, and enjoyed eating FISH and CHIPS, Of course the authentic kind, wrapped up in OLD OLD NEWSPAPERS. It made the meal or so I thought TASTE MUCH BETTER.

    1. I remember when they used to do that. Now you can't because of health laws.