Wednesday, September 12, 2018

You have to understand the language

 Yes, we are in England and they speak English, just like we do. Well, almost like we do. But sometimes, we need to really think about something said and then translate it using the context.

Oscar Wilde said "The Americans and British have everything in common, except the language." Here are a few reasons why this is true.

Diverted traffic: after a while I figured out that means detour. It is summer and there is a lot of road construction here, just like in America, and so we see signs about diverted traffic often.

Expect queues on slip road. Huh? On the highways, queues are congestion. We first encountered this word the day we landed in London and were outside the terminal, waiting for a taxi. Someone started pointing and then a woman told us we had stood at the head of the line, not the rear. "People are really focused on queuing the right way, here." We saw a sign "queue here" when we were looking around Harrods.

"Incident ahead, slow down." What do you suppose an incident it? Are the police settling a fight? No, it mean there was an accident ahead.

We knew that RVs are called caravans here. But it took a while to figure out what a static caravan park it. Early in our marriage we lived in a 12 X 60 Marlette trailer. In Arizona there are lots of manufactured home parks and park models in RV parks. Those are static caravans.

Neither the road signs or our TomTom GPS refer to road exits here. We get off at J10 or J38. They have junctions, not exits.

Lorries entering roadway means trucks entering ahead.

Dual carriage way refers to a 4-lane, divided highway—two lanes in each direction.

One doesn't enter a roundabout, they cross a roundabout and select an exit point.

We don't look for an elevator when we are walking with our suitcases, it is a lift we want.

Portland pudding is creamed cucumber. They use cucumber here a lot. Even the Sprite has lemon, lime and cucumber flavors.

We'll never get off at the correct place if we don't remember that 1st floor is the floor above the ground floor.

If you want a ham sandwich you need to ask for a gammon sandwich. And, egg plant is known as aubergine.

Before we came to the UK we watched a video about what clothes to wear. The video suggested not wearing shirts with logos. Supposedly that would tip people that we were tourists. Wrong. The clothes we wore revealed nothing about our being visitors. All we had to do was speak and, immediately, we were asked where we came from. Our use of English gave us away.

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