Friday, 21 October 2011

English is a foreign language

I started wondering the other day, how much do bloggers think about the places their readers are from and try to ensure that the language you use is understood around the world.

I'm not even talking about thinking about non native English speakers here. In my experience, people who I interact with who don't have English as their first language are usually very proficient and they put me to shame with my lack of skill. I did 3 years of French at school and dropped it as soon as possible. I am definitely in the lazy English camp where I coast by on the knowledge that lots of people around the world speak my language. And thank you to everyone of you for making my life easier.

No, I am mainly talking about how different words have different meanings in the various countries where English is spoken. How much do you try and account for this in your blog posts?

I know I am always aware of batting/wadding when I write as I know that a lot of quilt blogs readers are from the US but apart from that I think I stick to English English.

A pillow in what you put your head on in bed, it doesn't sit on a sofa, that is a cushion.

When I read anything that mentions fanny or fannypack on a US blog it make me snigger like a schoolgirl.

And if I read on a US blog about someone in vest and pants, I know you imagine someone looking like this...

but I see in my head...


I enjoy the differences though, do you?

7 comments:

Lynz said...

I snigger at the fanny thing, too! And WHERE did you get that photo of the 70's Y's?!?!?!? Heh heh. I try and filter out all the Scots slang when I type but I'm seeing it sneak in more and more lately. Never mind words like "fortnight" which I thought were universal!

quiltfool said...

Happens to me, too. It helps to read blogs from all over the world. Sometimes I'll stick in someone else's term, just to see if my US friends will get it. And, from reading blogs, I've gotten loose about the word "the"...I went to (the) hospital. So much nicer to leave that extra syllable out. Love the undies pic. Other than color and print, not much has changed, eh? Lane

Helsie said...

Yes I'm with you about the fanny thing. Can be very funny. Here the underwear is called a singlet and tough men who work as labourers once wore navy blues ones to work in( Chesty Bonds !).
I'm careful to explain lollies ( sweets or candy but not frozen things on sticks)and thongs ( shoes NOT scanty underwear)which may be Aussie terms that others don't know. I think it is really interesting to learn these things and to be aware that not everyone understands what you mean even if you are speaking "English".
Cheers

Leanne said...

I love the challenge of figuring out the different terms. My kids had Australian and British children's books, and there there are the differences between Canada and the US, and sometimes we Canadians are more British than we remember. I say use the language you know and we will figure it out or giggle a bit.

Shocking Hocking said...

that picture of the guys in their jocks is hysterical - the guy on the left looks like Freddie Mercury......and just continuing on from Helsie - the blue singlets (Chesty Bonds) are also called 'beaters' - would you beleive it's short for 'wife beaters'???

English is a fantastic language - so versatile!

Michelle said...

I so enjoy the differences between the English, Australians, the New Zealanders, and Americans in the use of he English language. The differences both fascinate and tickle me.

thea said...

I love the differences too. so what's the thing about "fanny"?