Sunday, May 27, 2012

English or American

I agree with Ghandi when he wrote, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” and, by that measure, both the United Kingdom and the US are neither truly great nor even very moral. However, since we arrived in the UK, I have been enjoying how differently they use of our common language and am wondering just how deep those differences go.

Perhaps I have merely succumbed to novelty but, at the moment, it seems more polite to ask drivers to "give way" rather than "yield" like we do in the US.

London cafe

And even though I'm vegetarian, I find this unobtrusive window sign both amazing and delightful. "Proper Hamburgers"?

London cafe

American restaurants advertise "fast" food, even "healthy" and "organic" food but "proper" hot food? Never! I believe I speak for the majority of my countrymen when I say that no one shall ever enforce the eating of "proper" food on an American. By god Southerners, cued by their Corporate Overlords, thoroughly vilified the First Lady for merely suggesting that parents feed their children healthy food.

Hyde Park, London.
Hyde Park, London

Perhaps I am belaboring the point here but I also thought the dog poop bins in Hyde Park were pretty civilized.


Roy said...

I like "give way." There is no implication of something being taken, as "yield" suggests someone else is taking the right-of-way from you, but "give way" implies you are giving the right-of-way to another.

As "mind the gap" seems to be advising caution, rather than telling us to do or not do something.

Don said...

Yield and give way are nearly the same, to me. I guess if a woman yields to me, she isn't also giving way, so there is that difference. But I don't see yielding as passive.

There are plenty of dog-poop only containers in the US. In parks. Such as that one.

I wonder about the proper hamburger. Does that mean it would be recognizable to an American? Or does it mean they do it the British way, whatever that is? I suspect the latter, considering the power of regionalism. After all, to me a proper hamburger does well to include jalapenos.

asha said...

That's it. An underlying respect.

Roy said...

These word verifications are getting harder and harder as, I presume, the computer programs used to defeat them get smarter and smarter. The time is soon coming when I won't be able to pass muster in the attempt to "prove I'm not a robot." ""Eventually, as others fall to the wayside after me, the Internet will be populated only by robots, and the human race will be relegated to battery farms and the like, until one of us, some smart-alecky bastard with an attitude, says "no," I will not feed the machine. I want a cheeseburger! Get me a soda! And then, and only then, will we have proved we are not robots.

I hope I pass through this wretched portal of sloppy human reasoning this morning. I hope you can read this. I hope you are having fun.

asha said...

ridate 13