U.S English/English U.S.


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Friends and fellow gardeners. Believe me. I wish no disrespect. So although our countries are so closely related. When it come to written US/English there is a difference. So! I understand that. DIRT to our friends across the pond, means soil/ground. Here in the UK. DIRT means, dust, filth etc. I recall as a student. Completing a couple of hours on the cinder running track and then having a school medical. I was marked down, and punished for having dirty feet. At my school and in those days. We never had showers and baths. So having dirty feet did not mean, my feet were covered in soil.
Then there are many other U.S terms used. OK. I have Websters dictionaries etc, but please, can we have some sharing of terminology.
 
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Now to the Brits here:
Why is it that you still randomly use the Imperial set of units? I listen to BBC4 "Inside Science" and "The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry" and they'll still throw out dimensions in feet or inches. I heard someone talking about body weight in "stone" a few days ago.
 
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We use Imperial measures because it was never made compulsory for Metric units to be taught in school. Some of us find it a lot easier from long use to visualise feet and inches rather than a metre. As for weight, Stones pounds and ounces have never been replaced in Britain and peoples weight was never referred to in pounds as it is in the USA.
There was a comedian called Mike Harding who did a fantastically clever and funny monologue (British spelling note) about his trip across the water where the language differences made his life somewhat confused.
And as for 'sod'. Turf in Britain and a rude epithet!
 
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When I go to the hospital I regularly get nurses who have been brought up on a metric system,
"Let's see what you weigh."
"About nine stone twelve."
A puzzled look, "Jump on the scales for me... About 62.1/2 kilos."

Assuming American pounds are the same as Imperial pounds that's about 138lbs :)

I am 76, I grew up in a time of pounds, shillings and pence and when calculators didn't exist. Who knows the significance of 6/8d or 13/4d nowadays? With a hundred pence to the pound you can't have a third of a pound. I look at a bed about x feet across and say, "We want an ounce and a half to a square foot, that will be about y, or z kilos if you like." After several minutes with the calculator on their phone my younger companions say "How did you know that?"

It took me a while in the "I need a new shovel" thread to realise (realize) that what he wanted was a spade. What I call a shovel is made of pressed sheet material, has raised edges, and is used for moving aggregates.
 
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When I go to the hospital I regularly get nurses who have been brought up on a metric system,
"Let's see what you weigh."
"About nine stone twelve."
A puzzled look, "Jump on the scales for me... About 62.1/2 kilos."

Assuming American pounds are the same as Imperial pounds that's about 138lbs :)

I am 76, I grew up in a time of pounds, shillings and pence and when calculators didn't exist. Who knows the significance of 6/8d or 13/4d nowadays? With a hundred pence to the pound you can't have a third of a pound. I look at a bed about x feet across and say, "We want an ounce and a half to a square foot, that will be about y, or z kilos if you like." After several minutes with the calculator on their phone my younger companions say "How did you know that?"

It took me a while in the "I need a new shovel" thread to realise (realize) that what he wanted was a spade. What I call a shovel is made of pressed sheet material, has raised edges, and is used for moving aggregates.
I guess that is why it seems to be a big deal when someone declares they are going to call a spade a spade.
 
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In Yorkshire they don't call a spade a spade, they call it a bl"!£!"£y shovel!
Some years back I used to post some of my stories on a Creative Writing website. Often got some very useful feedback, but one chap complained about my spelling. I ran my stories over and over again through a spell checker and found nothing, until I ran it through an American one. That picked up all the places where in English spelling there is a 'u' which is missed out in the USA. For example. 'armour 'and 'armor' and neighbour and neighbor.
And don't even go down the rubber and eraser route.
 
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Within the USA, all the states, there also is a confusion of some words especially pertaining to food items. Like, Soda and Pop. or Hoagies and Submarines. When I came from Ohio to PA the way the pronounced "Shore" in PA is very interesting. Found on google some state accents to hear, to me interesting. One of the things in my travels, enjoy accents. Recently listened to a lovely Wisconsin accent. When I ventured into Canada, expecting an accent, hardly heard one. As I traveled about in Scotland years ago, I did not find folks hard to understand, loved those accents.
 
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Americans do like an English accent sometimes. After hearing me on my 'Story Shack' channel on YouTube one of the Americans on the writing forum told me that she would "Listen to you reading the Orlando telephone directory in that accent".

Dunno what she was talking about, I haven't got an accent, it's all those Americans who talk with an accent ;)
 
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Who knows the significance of 6/8d or 13/4d nowadays?
You got me here 6/8d? First off simplify that 6/8 to 3/4 (0.75 for the fractionally challenged), or the 13/4 to 3-1/4 or 3.25, but what is the "d".

My wife does editing as freelance work and has run into some weird ones with nearly the same languages with clients in Australia, Israel, and the UK plus the "local" ones. One that still gets me is a client said he was "a small publisher in the Midwest" but he's in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Calling Missouri the Midwest is pushing it but Oklahoma is multiple states outside of the Midwest.

I'm an engineer so grew up using both Imperial and SI units. At least I'm an electrical engineer so there is no difference in my standard units. For mid range distances I'm more likely to estimate in mm especially when moving robots or actuators at work. But setting out plants or working in the shop at home its all inches.

Slugs and stones don't belong in the garden but they shouldn't be units of measure either.
 
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Ahh. 6/8d, that would be six shillings and eight old pence. When our money was first standardised it was done by weight, so a pound was a pound weight of silver and a penny a pennyweight, that is one two hundred and fortieth of a pound. When I was young there were still some silver coins in circulation, and five shillings in silver (A quarter of £1) weighed an ounce, so four times as much since about 1400. Value now , about £18.50 per ounce, that's 34 times as much in seventy years.

The abbreviation 'd' for a penny was from the Latin 'Denarius', why keep it simple when it could be more complicated ? :)
 
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Thanks for the weird rabbit hole @Oliver Buckle

So the penny weight and the grain (I know the points on my arrows are 100 gr and something else around here is 230 gr) tie into the same pound that the Pound Sterling is based off of. And that is all in the troy system of weights form about the 15th century. So in this case a pound is not even the same as a pound.

And somehow the same units that are used for precious metals also are used for common nails. I guess nails are precious metals as they're holding my house up.

This will leave me pounding my head as I finish my 12 fl oz pint of India Pale Ale brewed in Fort Collins Colorado.
 
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It was all so easy then wasn't it Oliver :rolleyes: I used to work in a ladies fashion shop, and remember selling dresses for four and a half guineas, or (in London speak four parnd, ten bob and a tanner.
 
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Many thanks friends for adding to this thread. Casting my mind back to school days. (left school 1954) Mental arithmatic was a favourite of mine. Now converting the old measurements etc, out comes pencil and paper. Metric should be easier as it's all multiples of 10. Then spelling. The american and computer spelling is so much simpler. OK. Whether you call a spade a spade or a shovel, that can easily be sorted. However here on the forum, we have some very knowledgeable members. I would personaly appreciate it if when mentioning plants. Please use the botanical names. Local and common names are not always understood. However. Please continue to enjoy the forum.
 
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Many thanks friends for adding to this thread. Casting my mind back to school days. (left school 1954) Mental arithmatic was a favourite of mine. Now converting the old measurements etc, out comes pencil and paper. Metric should be easier as it's all multiples of 10. Then spelling. The american and computer spelling is so much simpler. OK. Whether you call a spade a spade or a shovel, that can easily be sorted. However here on the forum, we have some very knowledgeable members. I would personaly appreciate it if when mentioning plants. Please use the botanical names. Local and common names are not always understood. However. Please continue to enjoy the forum.
You want it, you got it.

Onopordum acanthium: this is the famous Scotch thistle. And the botanical name seems quite harmless, until you study it, because Onopordum comes from the Greek for … donkey fart. Apparently, donkeys like to eat it and the end result is both sonorous and malodorous.
 
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That's very true, Mike Allen. Not only are they not understood, but frequently misunderstood as well. As Englishmen traveled the world they named things for the things they remembered from their old country. I wrote a piece about robins once and put it on my writing forum, it got some strange reactions. The bird Americans call a robin is actually a type of thrush, rather than a chat, or flycatcher, like ours. Its only relation to our robin is its red breast. I don't know that I would agree with abandoning the common names though, I would advocate adding the agreed Latin name, so "My friendly little robin (Erithacus rubecula), will sometimes come within inches when I am disturbing the ground and turning up insects."
Mind you, no matter how sensible and how much confusion it avoids I have a feeling we old codgers might be on a losing battle here :)
 
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You want it, you got it.

Onopordum acanthium: this is the famous Scotch thistle. And the botanical name seems quite harmless, until you study it, because Onopordum comes from the Greek for … donkey fart. Apparently, donkeys like to eat it and the end result is both sonorous and malodorous.
I don't know about donkeys, is it true, or a myth because they are often in a field full of thistles? However pigs eat thistles, and the seeds go straight through them. Careful using pig manure, you may be unwittingly planting a thistle bed.
 

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