Wednesday, October 17, 2012
American English Strikes Again
Okay, so at the moment my pseudonym is co-writing, and it’s fun, except for one thing: my continuing struggles with American English. Here are a few examples that have screwed me over this time. (And please be aware that my arguments are spurious at best. At worst they’re just a random collection of words that signify nothing.)
Why do you call your money bills?
Do you people know what a bill is? A bill is not money. A bill is the exactly opposite of money. A bill is something that arrives in the mail from the electricity company demanding money. You can’t pay a bill with a bill. That’s crazy talk.
That thing you have in your hand? That’s a printed piece of paper with a previously agreed-upon value that you can exchange for goods and services. A piece of paper. Are you with me? It has printing on it. Still with me? Do you know another name for a piece of paper with printing on it?
A note. It’s a note.
And that’s what we call them in the rest of the world.
I also have an issue with bedding. It’s romance, guys, they’re going to go there. And pillows and sheets are fine, but what the hell is that thing on top of the bed? No, not the guy with the abs. Under him. That thing that I would call a doona, and my relatives in the UK would call a duvet?
I’m pretty sure you call them comforters.
Really? Your bedding comforts you? Okay, I get that if you’re three — I had a bunny rug as well — but you’re not three any more. You’re an adult. You should be seeking comfort in the same things the rest of us are: cynicism, alcohol and the misuse of prescription medication.
And last but not least: "Write me". WTF is "write me"?
As in, "Oh, I'm leaving now and I'll miss you terribly. Write me."
Did you forget the rest of the sentence? Write me what?
A ransom note?
A three-act play set in the the monastery in Melk in 1527 that can later form the basis of an operetta?
Or do you mean "write to me?"
Say what you mean, America. Things like this make the rest of the world pissed off.
Not pissed. Pissed means drunk. Pissed off.
There's a difference. Sort it out, America.
Labels: American English my old nemesis, What happens under a pseudonym stays under a pseudonym, writing