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25 March 2013 @ 10:41 am
English V. English: Fight!  

*laughs* So this morning I was writing and had a moment of Irish English vs. American English struggle, and commented on Twitter: I swear, the Irish phrasings that slip in. “At the weekend.” Americans don’t say that. I catch most of them while typing, but I swear.

It’s caused a great stir on Twitter. *laughs* Irish and British people are going, “Er, what else would you say?” and are clutching their poor heads and wailing at my explanation of “on the weekend.”

It’s the little stuff, I tell you. It’s insidious. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Kate Kirbykirbyk on March 25th, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
So, are they consistent? Do they say 'on Tuesday' or 'at Tuesday'?

I guess we're not perfect, though, we use at for times, like 'at 7:45 pm'.

When you write your novel actually set in Ireland with an Irish protagonist, you can bust out all of your Euro-idioms on us!
kitmizkit on March 25th, 2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
Writing an Irish protagonist is one major reason to consider the Irish Mage trilogy, yes. :)

No, they say "on Tuesday", and think that's okay, but "on" a weekend--because, I guess, weekend is technically plural--does their heads in. :)
Thirzahthirzah on March 25th, 2013 01:22 pm (UTC)
Sesame street and living in Sweden have both been teaching me a few Americanisms I didn't know - Sweden claims English as its second language but they really mean *American* - much to my horror, of course...

From Sesame Street:
"tell about"
As in: 'it's hard to tell about something', where we (british) would say 'it's hard to talk about something' .

'Tell about' just sounds sooo wrong.

In Sweden:
The library assistant said I could borrow a book for 'fjorton dagar', and was struggling for the translation. I said "fortnight" - easy because it's so similar (apart from we count nights while Swedes count days). She said "eh?" and had never heard of fortnight. For shame!
(there are better examples from Sweden, but my brain is mush).
S. L. Grayshadowhwk on March 25th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I'm not familiar with 'tell about' being considered correct, and I've lived in the States all my life. :) I could buy 'it's hard to tell someone about something' vs 'it's hard to talk about something', but without the noun/pronoun? Nope.

Full disclosure, though: Both of my parents were college professors. Perhaps my exposure is/was a little skewed.
kitmizkit on March 25th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with "tell about" either, not without the nouns. o.O
irishkateirishkate on March 25th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
What do you say instead of at the weekend (not on twitter what with being at work..)

On the weekend? Is that what I'm to understand from above comments.

That just sounds strange...
Andrea Blythe: death joyousblythe025 on March 25th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
LOL. Too funny.
Parisgreenparisgreen on March 25th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
An intra-American example: "on line" (which is how they stand in New York and nearby) vs. "in line" (everywhere else in the U.S.).
Parisgreenparisgreen on March 25th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
Dang, took me three times to get past the captcha test. Maybe I'm a robot.
cate_morgancate_morgan on March 25th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
After talking to the Irish branch of my family (Mum's side), the hubs always looks at me funny when I use terms like "down the pub" and "do a Chinese". His reponse: You want to do WHAT-WHERE now?!"

It's strange being a hybrid, sometimes. At least I can swear atrociously around here and no one's the wiser. :-)
dsgood on March 26th, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
Justine Larbalestier got some flack for having an American character use the unfamiliar, obviously Australian, term "dungarees." Which is the term I grew up with.

In some parts of the US, people say things like "The car needs washed" -- many unaware that this isn't standard all across the US. As I understand it, this comes from Ulster Scots and Scots; which got it from Scots Gaelic.
Chrysoulachrysoula on March 26th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
I've been thinking about this. I don't think I'm used to 'on the weekend' either. I may say 'this weekend' or 'next weekend' but I only use 'on the' as a _plural_. 'We mow the lawn on the weekends.'