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Author Topic: Normal English phrase embarrassing in the US  (Read 5308 times)
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Manchester (England England)
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My son, who has been sent to Huston this week by his work, has this to report:-

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if you do happen to go to America, and you are in a room and want to tell someone that you are going to leave, try and avoid saying "I have to shoot off"!
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I know what "shoot off" means in English but why is it embarrassing in the US?

Best regards
Jantje
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why is it embarrassing in the US
Something about masturbation.
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why is it embarrassing in the US
Something about masturbation.
rofl
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Also, if you need to remove pencil marks on a page, don't ask for a rubber.
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It is also wise to avoid saying "Don't knock me up at 6am" when in mixed company.

Pete
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My son, who has been sent to Huston this week by his work...

My sympathies.  I am so glad I no longer live there.

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if you do happen to go to America, and you are in a room and want to tell someone that you are going to leave, try and avoid saying "I have to shoot off"!

 smiley-lol

Never use "pop" or "soda".  The correct word is "coke".  A mixed container of cold beverages uses the plural form, "cokes".  As in, the "cokes is over there."

If he prefers iced tea sans sugar he must specifically request "unsweetened tea".

"Fixin-to" = "planning" or "going to".

Mind the personal space.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 08:06:24 pm by Coding Badly » Logged

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Remember: Y'all is singular. All y'all is plural. All y'all's is plural possessive.

--Kinky Friedman

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Oh, the quintessential water tower complete with city name.  In case we forget where we live.
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Yes, in Texas, the word is Coke.  I've lived in Indiana, Texas, and Arkansas.  You can use just about any word you want, Coke, Soda, or Pop.  People may look at you a little strange, but they get the idea of what you're saying.
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Unless they call it a tonic.

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All y'all are having a lot of fun at Houston's expense.  Since I live in Houston, I feel compelled to defend it.  However, most of what you're saying is true-ish, if not true outright.

... try and avoid saying "I have to shoot off"!
With a reasonable audience, you can get away with it - indeed, you can get away with almost anything - if you say it with a British accent.  Teenagers and young men who don't date much will probably ridicule you for it, no matter what your accent.  Unless you're from Yorkshire, in which case no one will understand you at all.

Never use "pop" or "soda".
I live in Houston now, and I can't remember the last time I heard generic soft drinks called "cokes."  It's a ferocious melting pot here, and things change fast.  I say "soda," and always get away with it.  Out in the hinterland, though, everything seems to be a coke.

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If he prefers iced tea sans sugar he must specifically request "unsweetened tea".
Yes, he must.  The default state of iced tea is sweetened.  In the broad swath of the south, an especially sweetened tea has come into use, made by saturating it with sugar while it's hot; that's called, "sweet tea," and you generally have to ask for it specifically.  It the server asks you, "Sweet tea?" and you decline, you'll probably get sweetened tea.  

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"Fixin-to" = "planning" or "going to".
"Fixin' to" is used by the speaker to explain why he's idle at the moment.  "Whatchoo doin' up there on the porch with that mint julep, Buford?"  "I'm fixin' to go out back and dig me some post holes."  Post-hole digging is a lot of work, so it sounds like the speaker is very busy, while fixin' to dig post holes is kind of relaxing, and may involve whiskey or beer.

... don't ask for a rubber.
Indeed.  Even an upperclass London accent won't help you with that one.  Especially, don't send your young daughter into the drugstore to ask for them.

Y'all is singular ...
Yeah, sort of.  In my experience, the expected form of address - "you," "y'all," or "all y'all," - depends on the angle that the listeners occupy, from the speakers viewpoint.  Narrow angle, "you;" up to about 90 degrees, "y'all;" more than that "all y'all."

« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 10:50:20 pm by tmd3 » Logged

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Normal US phrase embarrassing in Australia.

Hi, and in Australia we barrack for our footballs team, not   root.
Has more than just a meaning of a trees appendages.

Tom....
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Do you root for the home team?
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I understand that in Australia the word Sellotape is the name of a condom, where as in the UK this is the generic word for adhesive tape or scotch tape in the US.

In the UK barrack is exactly the opposite it means to noisily show disapproval.

In the US they seem to do this to their president as they always Barrack Obarma
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