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Posted by
11496 posts

And I thought our misunderstandings ended with ‘pants.’ 😁

Going to have to read between the lines when Nigel responds. 🤔

Posted by
33339 posts

I see that the Mail took its time in switching off comments.

Posted by
10344 posts

When visiting the UK, I've always made a point of complimenting the locals on their English, despite their quaint accents.
But really, where did the English learn to speak, uhm, English? ;-)

Posted by
5386 posts

One phrase that seems well overused and abused at present to me is 'passive-aggressive'.

Many if not all of these phrases are not necessarily "passive aggressive" in intention in the absence of suppressed real anger, but simply “culturally politely diplomatic wording” to avoid talking directly about a topic that may cause discomfort or conflict, or in some cases additional fairly meaningless words or phrasing to allow a pause for thinking. Now on the other hand if it had included the phrases "I was just joking" or "it wasn't me" …

Incidentally it is a YouGov survey, rather than a Government survey,

Posted by
32272 posts

There’s a link in the BBC version of that article about the difference in swearing between the UK and other parts of the world. Towards the end of the article, they related a story about a group of British employees visiting a tech firm in Massachusetts or somewhere.

While they were there, an awards ceremony was held. When one of the awards was announced, the British group had to leave the room as they were laughing so hard. I chuckled for several minutes after reading that part.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20151109-english-speakers-or-not-brits-and-americans-swear-in-different-languages

Posted by
6670 posts

Hilarious, Ken! The Massachusetts story is worth waiting for!

Am I right in understanding that "bloody" started out as "by Our Lady"? When I lived in England 50+ years ago it was a big-deal cuss word, now my impression is not so much.

EDIT: Just to be clear, to us teenage boys it was commonly used, but we thought (or I was told by my peers) that it was a big-deal cuss word not to be used when adults were around. A subtle difference.....

Posted by
11496 posts

Ken thanks for that article! I guffawed at the awards ceremony!

Posted by
8653 posts

My grandfather, British born, told me that “bloody” was particularly vile because it refers to the blood of Jesus in a degrading manner.

Posted by
7906 posts

I will be 71 in a few days and over the years, I have see a decline in civility and exponential use of profanity in the USA. It is a cruder and ruder place.

Having traveled to 76 countries, I just love some countries because of their friendliness, civility and politeness.

Japan is one of the best in the World, it reminds me of how it was in the 1950s in the USA.

The UK is great. The auto drivers are even polite on the highways compared to some parts of the USA. The Boston area is terrible.

Canada is great as well.

Posted by
8660 posts

Thanks for sharing this fun bit. I think that its a bit misleading, however, because if these phrases were spoken, the tone, facial expressions, body language, etc., would make the intended meaning much clearer. I do think there needs to be more awareness of the differences in usage of some common words, that are considered vulgar in one country, and not in the other (e.g., fanny pack).

Posted by
175 posts

I agree with the use of crude and rude language in the USA these days by young and old, male and female. So unnecessary.....

Posted by
32272 posts

Now that you mention it, I've also noticed a decline in the use of language skills, especially with the younger crowd. Profanity and especially the "F" word now seem to be a normal part of conversation and there seems to be no "filter" in terms of when to use language like that or what situations it's not appropriate. This tendency has also become more common in movies and other shows on some channels. I doubt that things will ever return to the polite civility that was more common when I was younger.

Posted by
1072 posts

"My grandfather, British born, told me that “bloody” was particularly vile because it refers to the blood of Jesus in a degrading manner."

Well in over 60 years of living in the UK it's first time I've ever heard that one. I was told as a youngster it was just the "fear of blood", I use it myself occasionally and consider it far preferable to the F**G and C**G you hear from some of the brain dead youngsters these days.

Posted by
32272 posts

It's not strictly the swearing I'm concerned with, but rather that many people simply don't have a clue when they should use it and when not. With some people it's part of their normal speaking mode, regardless of the company or social situation they're in.

One of the finest aficionados of the art of swearing was George Carlin, and I miss his "creative" use of the English language.

Posted by
4012 posts

I'm not sure which Americans were polled but we are all NOT alike no matter what the Brits think! LOL .That Daily Mail piece was hilarious in that I can't imagine that people would really believe those phrases verbatim. They're usage is definitely not part and parcel to the Brits! Not by a long shot.

Posted by
5428 posts

I'm not sure which Americans were polled but we are all NOT alike no matter what the Brits think! LOL .That Daily Mail piece was hilarious in that I can't imagine that people would really believe those phrases verbatim. They're usage is definitely not part and parcel to the Brits! Not by a long shot.

I would take anything written by the Daily Mail with a hefty pinch of salt. They're nothing more than a clickbait rag of sensationalism and gossip.

Posted by
6113 posts

JC. I agree about the Daily Fail. It was sent as amusement, rather than to be taken seriously.

Posted by
4066 posts

It's surprising that George Bernard Shaw's oft-quoted quip has not appeared in this thread: "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." There are several versions of the quote, plus a similar observation by Oscar Wilde.
Meanwhile I am cogitating on Nigel's arch aside.
Canadians, by the way, speak both versions of English at the same time, while muddling Imperial and metric measures into an untidy confusion.

Posted by
403 posts

For anybody interested the use of "bad language" , the book Holy Sh*t: A brief history of swearing by Melissa Mohr is very interesting.
(The title does contain an asterisk ) - charting the history of swearing, and how it is all either profanity (religious in origin) or about bodily functions - and how trends have changed from Greek and Roman times up to the present.

Posted by
32272 posts

"Canadians, by the way, speak both versions of English at the same time, while muddling Imperial and metric measures into an untidy confusion."

Rather than "muddling Imperial and metric measures into an untidy confusion", I like to believe that Canadians are "bilingual" in both Imperial and metric systems ;-)