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

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at
Tue Jan 18 11:20:44 EST 2005

> If you say that it was called a perambulator in the book I will certainly
> not argue: I'd thought of Mary Poppins as being an older book than that,
> I'm not sure quite why.  If it was anything like the perambulator my
> ma-in-law tried to persuade me to inherit, there would have been room in it
> for at *least* three children under three, plus the elder ones if they got
> tired of walking; that thing was like a humvee for the infantry.  It was
> called "carriage-built", and I suspect that it had been designed by
> somebody who'd had to give up on the idea of having it towed around by four
> horses with hairy ankles only with the Utmost Reluctance: it weighed about
> an imperial ton, and had springs like those on a stagecoach circa 1814
> connecting the wheels to the chassis -- and the wheels were about the size
> you'd expect on a standard bicycle, but with solid rubber tyres instead of
> pneumatic ones.  Given a team of sherpas to manhandle it, it would have
> made it up to at least second camp on Everest quite regardless of terrain,
> and possibly to the summit.  I wouldn't have dared shorten its name to
> "pram": it might have gnashed its hood and *eaten* me.

*grin* we had both a canvas-covered baby carriage-- big enough for 2 or
three-- and a wickerwork one, plus a sort of white wickerwork stroller
thing, basically I thought of it as a babychair-- one sat up in it, 
there was a well for the feet and a hood over the head. It also would 
accomodate at least 2 children (up to age 10 or so) and a number of 

There's an old punch cartoon of a couple madly hunting through a pram 
full of shopping, and the father saying, "Are you sure we *brought* the 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at 
"Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that / which we wish to be free from
Fill lives with love and bravery /And we shall lead a life uncommon."
		-- Jewel, _Life Uncommon_  

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