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  #41  
Old 16.05.2011, 17:28
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

On my first visit to the States, I was sitting with some American colleagues and a couple of Brits that I worked with
We were onto moaning about jet lag, as you do, so I said to a fellow sales person (who was a good looking girl BTW) "hey, If you cant sleep, give me a ring, I'll come round and knock you up, then we can go for a beer?"
To which she replied " yes, that's a good idea"

The Americans looked at us very oddly after that .....
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  #42  
Old 16.05.2011, 17:36
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

That chart is great...it's quite difficult to learn to decipher all these roundabout ways of saying something. Yanks have their own roundabout ways, too. As if world wasn't ok enough with being ehm....neanderthally straight forward?

Sour fanny always gets me, though. Yuck.
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  #43  
Old 16.05.2011, 17:40
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

Yes, the States can be confusing for a Brit! Once called my daughter in a down-town bar in New York 'Come over, I'm dying for a fag' - we did get some funny looks!
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  #44  
Old 16.05.2011, 17:41
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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Sour fanny always gets me, though. Yuck.
I can't see that being anything good in any dialect.
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  #45  
Old 16.05.2011, 17:56
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

If someone says to you "With the greatest possible respect..." punch the blaggard in the mouth.
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  #46  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:13
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

It can take eight minutes for many Brits to say what ought to take ten seconds. Faffing around the bush in fear of appearing too robust can be trying to the listner. One risks offending someone by addressing them too directly, it appears.

Oh, and never expect a polite question such as "How's life?". Waaay too direct. Better to discuss TV, gossip about Slebs etc but NOT matters of a personal nature. Error404...
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  #47  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:22
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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It can take eight minutes for many Brits to say what ought to take ten seconds. Faffing around the bush in fear of appearing too robust can be trying to the listner. One risks offending someone by addressing them too directly, it appears.

Oh, and never expect a polite question such as "How's life?". Waaay too direct. Better to discuss TV, gossip about Slebs etc but NOT matters of a personal nature. Error404...
Yup, typical conversation between me and a UK resident:

"so, how are you"
"why, what've you heard?"
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  #48  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:24
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

The English use of understatement and euphemism. The key is to transpose all meaning and use 5 words instead of 1.
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  #49  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:31
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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I can't see that being anything good in any dialect.
It's either the front one or the back one, depends on who is speaking.

On the other hand, being from a place where small talk really does not exist and all is meant 100%, one does try to avoid "how are ya" since you are usually in for detailed brutal info on stuff one would rather avoid. While I think people appreciate the good manners and indirectness, for people form other cultures it is hard work to understand ...

US gets me with all the pc terms, and the new ones and then even the newest ones, while the old ones are so taboo so fast.
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  #50  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:36
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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Oh, and never expect a polite question such as "How's life?". Waaay too direct...
That's because we're clever enough to know that the poser of such a question really doesn't care.

One of the things that irks me about the US culture is the faux camaraderie and/or bonhomie that takes place over a simple sale of goods, starting with the "So how are you today sir...?" patter of the salesman/woman/person, right through to the "have a nice day!" accompanied by the forced fake plastic smile...

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The English use of understatement and euphemism. The key is to transpose all meaning and use 5 words instead of 1.
Riiiigghht... 'cos when you translate English to German or French you need to allow/plan for twice- to three-times as much space because they really do use 5 words instead of 1 (although to give the German's their due, they merge all 5 words into 1).

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  #51  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:40
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I find it really strange when my British colleagues greet me with 'Hi, are you alright?' and it was even more bizarre when salespeople in London did it too! I mean, how bad do I really look?!?

Yes I know it means 'How are you?' but it's difficult to get used to.
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  #52  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:44
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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One of the things that irks me about the US culture is the faux camaraderie and/or bonhomie that takes place over a simple sale of goods, starting with the "So how are you today sir...?" patter of the salesman/woman/person.
And worse still are the waiters. First they pester you with insincere questions and then when you are so fed up with it all that you leave without leaving a tip they feel offended.
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  #53  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:46
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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It can take eight minutes for many Brits to say what ought to take ten seconds. Faffing around the bush in fear of appearing too robust can be trying to the listner. One risks offending someone by addressing them too directly, it appears. ...
This appears to not be entirely the case. (I.e. it's complete twaddle )

We're not worried about causing offence. The aim is to be devastatingly offensive, but using words of absolute civility and politeness. It's rudeness that we avoid, because it's so gauche. The kind of thing colonials get up to.
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  #54  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:48
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

Offended? We once had a very rude and pathetic waiter in a restau in Cape Cod- and then just rounded up the bill, to about 10 %. he actually ran after us into the car-park screaming! Told him he was very lucky to get anything at all with his attitude!
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  #55  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:48
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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This appears to not be entirely the case. (I.e. it's complete twaddle )

We're not worried about causing offence. The aim is to be devastatingly offensive, but using words of absolute civility and politeness. It's rudeness that we avoid, because it's so gauche. The kind of thing colonials get up to.
Jaysus, and I thought what DB does was purely his poetic license...
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  #56  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:56
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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I find it really strange when my British colleagues greet me with 'Hi, are you alright?' and it was even more bizarre when salespeople in London did it too! I mean, how bad do I really look?!?

Yes I know it means 'How are you?' but it's difficult to get used to.
Yeah, it used to put me in a slight funk, hahah...the Cockney "yeaallrite?" Took me so long to realize it is just a rhetorical thing. I thought my friends were reaaally concerned about me or sumfin.
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  #57  
Old 16.05.2011, 18:58
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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This appears to not be entirely the case. (I.e. it's complete twaddle )

We're not worried about causing offence. The aim is to be devastatingly offensive, but using words of absolute civility and politeness. It's rudeness that we avoid, because it's so gauche. The kind of thing colonials get up to.
Nah, it's because your diet of 1500 calorie muffins and litres of sugary bad wine EVERY night pickles your brains and makes you slow in the head. Sorry, I mean, how very interesting...
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Old 16.05.2011, 18:58
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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Something that repeatedly confuses me is "cheers".

Like at the end of an email.

I "know" is is supposed to mean thank you sometimes.

But "cheers mate" from where i come from, is kind of an insult..
it can be both - it's all in the intonation.

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The aim is to be devastatingly offensive, but using words of absolute civility and politeness. It's rudeness that we avoid, because it's so gauche. The kind of thing colonials get up to.
Absolutely! Nothing more fun than delivering a cutting remark, esp. when it completely goes over the head of the victim. One from real life:

office scene. "A" returns from holidays
A: So did you all miss me? (normal attention whore attitude)
B: Well, we certainly noticed you were gone! (with a cheery smile)
* colleagues spit coffee back into their cups and try not to LOL *
A: (oblivious) Awwww. How sweet!
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  #59  
Old 16.05.2011, 20:43
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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I was once reliably informed by a Scottish mate that to call someone "a good c**t" was in fact a term of endearment in Scotland.



("c**t" does NOT mean "celt" in this context, in case you hadn't noticed)

Urban dictionary has all your answers

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=a+good+
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Old 16.05.2011, 22:02
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Re: British English and things that are commonly misunderstood

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Hmmm.... There's an element of truth there.
all things considered, yes there is ...
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