[TAG] English->American dictionary
Thu Oct 13 04:28:44 MSD 2005
>> - [p. 70/42] "The message had come during Cheers, one of Crowley's
>> favourite television programmes. Woody the barman had [...]"
>> In the American edition of Good Omens, this scene was changed to
>> refer to the series The Golden Girls and the character Rose. (The
>> effect remains the same).
>> Nobody knows the reason for this change, since both are American
>> sitcoms anyway. Speaking personally, I think Crowley is definitely a
>> Cheers person, and would not have liked The Golden Girls at all.
> "Cheers" I know,but "The Golden girls"?WTF?
It's about three women in their 60s. A pun on one's "golden years". As
"Mary Tyler Moore" was the first TV show starring a single woman with her
own career, and "Rosanne" proved that a show about a fat woman could get
ratings, "The Golden Girls" showed there was an audience for older women.
Perhaps "The Golden Girls" was at the peak of its ratings at the time.
>> Publishers tend to be nervous and arguably neurotic people, terribly
>> afraid that something will make a book "inaccessible" to particular
>> The same book will almost always have different cover art on each side
>> of the Atlantic, not to mention changes to spelling, punctuation, and
>> word usage (e.g., Harry Potter wearing "sneakers" where Rowling wrote
> And on the cover is "translated from British" sign?
'trainers' does need translation.
I grew up reading lots of British books, so I figured I was all set
considering it's the "same" language. Just remember quid, pram, lift and
bonnet. (And chips, biscuit, and treacle; but you get the idea.) But
when I arrived, every five minutes there was some word I'd never heard of.
The first was the "no trolleys" signs next to escalators, what the heck
does that mean? I could only imagine somebody carrying an electric bus on
an escalator. Then I saw the same sign in front of a supermarket and
realized it meant cart. Then there was "taking the piss" and "naff". And
why did everybody say "sorry" when we ran into each other; they hadn't
done anything to me. (That part has rubbed off on me: I find myself
saying "sorry" where I used to say "excuse me".)
Der Spiegel has several good articles this week, including this one about
an al-Qaida TV show on the Internet.
What's more horrifying than what they do is the propaganda they think will
attract recruits. Or rather, the fact that this propaganda works. But
near the bottom it says the host "speaks dialect-free standard Arabic,
making it unclear in which region the editorial operation is based." I'm
not sure that's possible with English because all forms tag the speaker as
English[Am] or English[Br]. (The former is predominant in the Americas
and parts of east Asia; the latter everywhere else.) The best you could
do is mislead people. (Some Irish accents sound American, New Zealanders
say nobody guesses they're from New Zealand, and RP has been taught all
over the world.) Spanish movies for an international audience use a
mid-Atlantic dialect that avoids sensitive words on both sides. ("coger"
means to hang up a phone in Spain but in Argentina it also means to fuck,
so the American word "contestar" is used instead.) If you wanted to be
both politically correct *and* region-free in English you'd have to... not
talk about cars, a(ir|ero)planes, or TV program(me)s at least. Don't talk
about elections or you'll have to decide whether the candidates stand for
them or run for them, or stand down or step down. Or rail(roads|ways) and
their (ticket collectors|conductors) and (conductors|engineers?) and
dining (cars|wagons). Can you say "caboose" in English[Br]?
>> Rowling's USA publisher to change her first volume's title from
>> _Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone_ to _Harry Potter and the
>> Sorceror's Stone_, apparently on a theory that Yanks are too ignorant
>> to understand the mediaeval reference,
It's not so much ignorance as "this is an obscure fact that has no
relevance to my life", so the schools don't teach it.
But you are talking about a population whose majority couldn't find Japan
on a map. (And the reason it's not taught is the same, unfortunately.)
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