Thursday, December 27, 2007

We Say Potato, They Say . . .

My brother-in-law Tony inspired this with his "Funny Chinese Signs" posts on his blog here, here, here, here, here and here. Check them out. They're REALLY funny! (Now that I've opened my Christmas gifts I have another inspiration as well, Bill Bryson's book The Mother Tongue, which I highly recommend!)

My post has a different flavor to it than Tony's, and while perhaps they say "po-tay-toe" to our "po-tah-toe" I certainly don't want to call the whole thing off. Although my trip to England was 4 years ago, every bit of it is still very clearly in mind. In fact, I'm eager to get back to England just as soon as possible!
Rather than being mere "exits" their places of departure are "WAY OUT!" which just seems so much more exciting!
The following photo, of course, gives a whole new meaning to that childhood ditty, "Skip, skip, skip to the loo!" We American children had no idea what we were singing! I think it's quite honorable that such pride it taken in the upkeep of loos in London. This photo was taken in a loo in the Tower of London - apparently they have the best. I must say, however, that I am SO glad they updated from the garderobe I saw in another part of the tower!
The next picture was taken at lovely, lovely Stratford-on-Avon. The term "Bouyancy Aid" just seems to have so much more pizzazz than our "Life Jacket." Knowing what I do about who the Ferryman is, I'm not so sure I want to contact him!! I think that would kind of make whether I was wearing a bouyancy aid OR a life-jacket rather a moot point.
Doesn't anybody ever go down? In England these devices are called "lifts." In the US they are called "elevators;" both of which denote rising. (I'm a little concerned about the picture here, so I took the stairs!)
I couldn't help but be curious how many POUNDS a quarter-pounder cost at a London McDonalds!
Waiting is no fun no matter what, but at least it seems a bit more sophisticated to be in a queue than merely to be delayed.
I doubled over with laughter when I saw this sign, but now I notice we are beginning to call them this in the US too. I'd only ever heard of speed "bumps" before - humps?! Hmm . . .

What do you prefer in what follows:

"Engaged" vs. "Occupied"??

"Nappy" vs. "Diaper"??

"Speed Cameras" vs. "Radar"??

"Diversion" vs. "Detour"??
(Personally I'd rather experience a "diversion" than be detoured!)

"Give Way" vs. "Yield"??

My only question is, "Where are the ZEBRAS?!"


Amelia said...

I'm so enamored by England that I pretty much prefer anything they do over the way we do it. I, however, will probably never get there. Thanks for the photos!

Amy Brogdon

ellen said...

Ah, England. Thanks for the pictures! Some day we must go together...

Heidi said...

Ellen, I would SO love that!! In fact that idea crossed my mind earlier today! I've been trying to remember the cathedral you went to that I did not see . . . Winchester?

Amy, being Dutch and Portuguese I have no idea where it came from, but I am a TOTAL anglophile too!

I never thought I would really go either, but I finally managed to do so by having saved up birthday and Christmas money for about 10 years and then finding a REALLY good deal through a travel agency. They had air fares "buy one get one free." A friend went with me, so air fare was half what it would have been. David, bless his heart, stayed home with the kids while I went with a friend. He knew it was the dream of a lifetime for me. What a guy!

It was one of the most profoundly moving experiences of my life.

It was amazing to walk into Westminster Abby and see the tomb of Henry III and realize he'd been entombed there 800 years ago and that his bones were really in that sarcophagus - merely a few feet away from me behind some stone.

Another profound experience was attending evensong at St. Paul's realizing that Christian worship has been taking place at that very spot (although in different buildings over the centuries) for 16 centuries - 1600 years!! I was so overcome by the thought of the multitudes that had worshipped there across that period of time that I could not sing without sobbing.

Then there was the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. I could have spent a full day just looking at that one item!

I want VERY much to go back. I don't know if it will be a possibility again, but I keep hoping. While I wait I take every chance I get to write "theatre," "colour," and "Saviour," rather than "theater," "color," and "Savior." I also revel in any books I can get my hands on about the Tudor dynasty or that were written during the Victorian era or just prior - love the Bronte's - love Jane Austen! Then there's the poetry - ah, the poetry!

I hope you will get a chance to go someday! (You might enjoy the Bryson book I mentioned in the post.)

Amelia said...

What an incredible experience that must have been for you! I can't imagine how you felt standing on a spot that has been inhabited for so many centuries; being from Modesto, even one century seems old to me. I just marvel at the mircales of architecture, the spirit of so many souls having dwelt there! How thrilling.

I do have quite a lot of English blood, so I can claim that it ties me to the land and culture, but who knows? Perhaps I'm just smitten.

My husband has learned that he can get me to watch tv with him if it involves a good British accent! I'm such a sucker. He likes to watch "House", but I think it's a sin for Hugh Laurie to mask his acccent with (gasp) an American one! Okay, I don't watch much TV anyhow, but still...

Hope I can get there someday!