Whistling in the dark

Yaffa Phillips writes sporadically

Adventures in miscommunication

Kev: Do you have a pen over there?
Me: You have one over by the TV…
Kev: eh?
Me: Oh, do you mean an actual pen?

In the UK they call USB keys / thumb drives – pen drives…I was referring to the USB key sticking out of the DVD player thinking that’s what he needed….um he was looking for an actual pen :)

Does this mean I spend too much time in front of a computer?

Gave him a visitmiddlesbrough.com pen from my desk.

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posted by Yaffa in language,technology and have No Comments

Guilty treats and spelling

It is too easy to spend money. Grabbing lunch at Boots and picking up cute, cheap jewelry is the latest way to piss away money £5 at a time.

So far, two rings and a pair of earrings….

The spelling is jewellery in the UK.  There’s a nice wikipedia article on American and British English spelling differences.

When I was a kid growing up  in Brooklyn I liked the British u added to colour and labour. I found it aesthetically pleasing or something. I wrote colour on a spelling test which was marked wrong. Being a nerd I brought in a dictionary and pointed out to my teacher that it was an acceptable alternate spelling.

posted by Yaffa in language,shopping and have No Comments

Language: At the Moment vs. At the Minute

Random thoughts on language: Things take longer in Hartlepool. In NYC I would say “at the moment” as an expression of current time; here they say “at the minute.”

It’s not a British vs. American difference according to google.

“+at +the +moment” = 88,700,000 entries generally; 2,490,000 on sites from the UK

“at +the +minute” = 566,000 entries generally; 196,000 on sites from the UK

A large proportion of the total “+at +the +minute”s are coming from the UK. I wonder if it’s a city vs. town divide with people from [small] towns in the UK being online more than their American counterparts.

We still say “Up to the minute” [for breaking news], and “up to the moment” doesn’t sound right…I think I use “at the moment” for personal thoughts and individual actions, minutes for something external that requires some time.

Interesting Language Blogs:

Separated By a Common Language

Language Log

Languagehat

posted by Yaffa in Hartlepool,language and have No Comments