Words befuddle me at times

@JolietJake (51104)
United States
January 25, 2017 4:39am CST
It's not as bad as it was when I joined here 10 years ago, but I still get caught by them at times. Such as when @JudyEv posted about her 'Caravan'. Here in the GREAT United States of America (too much Trump in my diet lately) this is a camper. A 'caravan' brings forth the image of a line of camels and their attendant riders crossing a desert. And even then, I was not sure at first if a 'Caravan' was an RV (recreational vehicle/motor home) or a camper. But thanks to The Wonders Of The Internetâ„¢ I did finally figure out what it was. But it's been fun, meeting people from all over, and then trying to decipher what they are actually saying in Americanese (which is kind of like English but not how the English use it if you catch my drift.) And then at times I find myself using a phrase that every American understands perfectly what I said, but I have to explain it to others because it appears to be an Americanism (something said mostly in America). Sometimes, the words can be similar...like 'bonnet' and 'hood' for parts of a car...different terms, which both can apply to something worn on the head, and mean the same thing when talking about cars, although when referencing headgear, they are two different things. But then you have 'boot' and 'trunk'. A 'boot sale' makes me think a particular type of footwear is being sold, whereas a 'trunk sale' may make me think of large pieces used for shipping/storing things. But they are the same thing for cars. It's no wonder we misunderstand each other here at times.
11 people like this
12 responses
@mysdianait (64058)
• Italy
25 Jan 17
With my sister living in Ohio, I have often heard her telling me about the different uses for the same word comepare to 'over here'. For example here we use a trolley at the supermarket while going round and picking up the things we need to buy. I don't remember what you use there and I'm sure you will tell me
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
A shopping cart. Trolleys are big things for carrying people.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (64058)
• Italy
25 Jan 17
@JolietJake Like a wheelchair? What do you use a buggy for?
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
@mysdianait A wheelchair is for a person (singular). A buggy may be for a baby, or it may be drawn by a horse and hold multiple people, or it may be the person needs an exterminator to get rid of the bugs.
@celticeagle (120480)
• Boise, Idaho
26 Jan 17
We come from all walks of life and countries in the world. I can certainly see where there are some misunderstandings here at times. I do hope that most are coming from positive places and not trying to be rude or mean on purpose. English is a great language and very interesting since some words come from other countries.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
26 Jan 17
I used to have a bit of fun with p1kef1sh and some of the other British users describing to each other what some sentences sounded like...
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (120480)
• Boise, Idaho
26 Jan 17
@JolietJake .......I remember him. Entertaining chap.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
25 Jan 17
plus no tone or body language to help us catch things like scarcasm, er I meant sarcasm. hehehe
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
Snarkasmâ„¢
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
25 Jan 17
@JolietJake that too lol!
1 person likes this
@lealuvy2j (1989)
• Philippines
25 Jan 17
English can be quite confusing since many words can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. For example a simple word like "store", its meaning would be highly dependent on how you would use it.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
I store things at the store.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22620)
• Canada
25 Jan 17
My husband grew up here (Canada) but his first language at home was not English. He argues with me about the use of some words that can be nouns as well as verbs, though he has spoken English for more than 60 years!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (137004)
• Bunbury, Australia
25 Jan 17
I nearly always put bus/motor home now for our bus. I forget not everyone reads my EVERY post. :) In much of Europe our motor-home was a 'camper car'. A camper here is more likely to be a trailer with canvas pop-ups/fold-outs which turn it into accommodation. And I put 'chooks/chickens' now too. (Fancy calling a full-grown chook a 'chicken'.) Another one is the different names for what I call an 'op shop' (opportunity shop) which I often have to explain. It seems more likely to be a thrift shop, charity store, goodwill. etc. Hopefully all this is making us all more tolerant of others.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
I almost wanna say "I got so mad I chooked them' now. They grow up to be chickens. They are only chicks at first.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (137004)
• Bunbury, Australia
25 Jan 17
@JolietJake No, no. They grow up to be chooks, CHOOKS!!
2 people like this
@Morleyhunt (21445)
• Canada
25 Jan 17
Many years ago I was needing to mop up my children in a restaurant. I asked the wait staff for some serviettes.....they looked at me blankly. I repeated....serviettes.....then I mimed wiping the child's hands and face.....he said....oh....you mean a napkin...
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
Now see, I'd have got you a mop and bucket and asked why they were all over the floor anyway.
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@Morleyhunt (21445)
• Canada
25 Jan 17
@JolietJake it's that language thing...
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
25 Jan 17
I think one of the most confusing differences between us is the use of the 'floors'. To Americans the 1st floor is what to the Brits is the ground floor, so your 2nd floor is our 1st floor, and so on all the way up the building.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
Yeah, I got a bit confused years ago when someone fell out a first floor window and broke a leg (I was reading a book). Finally figured out it was a second story window to us.
1 person likes this
@NJChicaa (47489)
• United States
25 Jan 17
I like hearing/reading these alternate terms for things
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@JolietJake (51104)
• United States
25 Jan 17
You mean like facts?
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13930)
• United Kingdom
25 Jan 17
There are loads of US/UK words that are different. I think I know most of them now
1 person likes this
@paigea (22620)
• Canada
25 Jan 17
Someone should post a list of translations.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
25 Jan 17
Man, I tried to put one of those English bonnets on my head, and oy I had such a headache!
1 person likes this
@fishtiger58 (30319)
• Momence, Illinois
25 Jan 17
Caravan makes me think of my Dodge van, but yea I know what you mean
1 person likes this