Americanisms (was RE: Sorcery and Cecilia and Desert Island books)

Otter Perry ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Mon Jan 17 11:51:04 EST 2005


On Monday, January 17, 2005, at 06:13 AM, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> Otter dangled:
>
>> If you speak American English, what would you call the following:
>>  - a carbonated beverage?
>> - the thing that contains your groceries?
>
> I see a very long thread coming up. Shall I take the bait?
>
> s
> p
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> a
> c
> e
>
> a
> n
> d
>
> y
> e
> t
>
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> I wait to see what others are calling it, and then go with the flow. I 
> can't
> always keep straight which variant is proper where. I'm pretty sure a
> carbonated drink is "pop" in Pittsburgh, but "soda" in Cambridge,
> Massachusets. But it may be the other way around. In some places it's a
> "cola", even if it's not Coca-Cola, and then Coca-Cola is referred to 
> as
> Coke. Or else you call Coca-Cola "Cola", and Coke is something 
> different
> altogether. Also, it's carbonated in the U.S., but in the U.K. it would
> probably be fizzy. Unless its sparkling, which is usually reserved for 
> posh
> drinks, like bottled water, cider, or champagne. Then there's "squash",
> which can be fizzy or not, depending on where you buy it, but is 
> usually
> citrus-fruit flavored. Likewise "lemonade", which in America would be 
> made
> with lemons and sugar, and in England would be fizzy. Or carbonated.

I grew up in CT and we called it 'soda'.  Then I moved to MI and I 
learned
to call it 'pop'.  Now I live in CO and I don't actually know what 
folks call
it -- I haven't had to use the name.

> The thing you put your groceries in is usually a shopping bag, unless 
> it's a
> grocery bag.

What I was actually after here is whether you call it a 'bag' or a 
'sack'.

> What I'd really like to know though, is what do you call the thing with
> wheels you use to push around your baby?
>
> Is it:
>
> A. a pushchair
> B. a stroller
> C. a baby carriage
> D. a pram
> E. a perambulator
> F. none of the above
>
> If I remember correctly, A. is American for what a baby sits in 
> upright, B.
> is the British equivalent of A. C. is American for what a younger baby 
> lies
> in, D. is the British equivalent of C., and E. is what Mary Poppins 
> uses for
> John and Barbara. But I may be hopelessly confused.

I've never had a baby, but I've never heard 'pushchair'.  I would expect
'stroller'.  And I agree with 'baby carriage'.

---------------------------------------


For me, there is one central question in
the whole gay marriage controversy:  What
do you care? .... I have only this advice to
offer those of you who oppose gay marriage:
don't marry a homosexual.

                      - Beth Quinn, Times Herald-Record

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