Posted by Smokey Stover on June 18, 2004
In Reply to: The American idiom gone missing? posted by dhm on June 17, 2004
: : : : Here's an interesting article about the lack of the equivalent of phrases like "at the end of the day", "at university" and "gone missing" in American English.
: : : : :)
: : : Could we, like, pass a law in the U.S. against using British expressions? Now that we have BBC America things will really get out of hand.
: : Watch out for young people screaming "Brilliant!" at each other. There is currently a series of Guiness TV adverts in the U.S. that feature two guys doing just that, as they engage in positive Guiness-related activities such as inventing the six-pack, drinking responsibly, etc.
: The only britishism my teenagers seem to use freely is "wanker". Here in the DC area, children of Foreign Service families are a major source of alien slang.
Until I actually read Ben Yagoda's article I was prepared to pooh-pooh the likelihood of Britishisms invading our turf successfully, notwithstanding all those years of bombardment by British actors in movies and on the tube. After all "he's missing" is shorter than the alien "he's gone missing," "at college" is short and sweet and is good for both college and university, as is "to college," if that's where you're going in the fall. Who needs "at University" or "on holiday." On vacation won't do it? I used to read authors like Geoffrey Household and John Buchan, so I learned what is meant by "lie doggo," or "go to earth," or "go to ground." But when would I ever say those things. Or "Step smartly, lads!" I learned about moors, tors, gorse and furze, and find them sometimes useful on crossword puzzles. Self-important frauds who try to mimic Brit-speak are certainly obnoxious. Think of the poor Brits themselves. When they turn on their tellies they are may be doused with showers of Americanisms, not always to their taste. One must, above all, keep one's sense of humor. On one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the new girl, from England, says, "I'm feeling peckish. Where's the kitchen." Girl #2 says, "Huh?" Girl #3: "Peckish is English for hungry." Girl #2: "I though hungry was English for hungry." SS