Sunday, January 04, 2009

You say to-may-does, I say to-mah-toes

Playing Scrabble yesterday, Flo was bemoaning the ‘Q’ she couldn’t get rid of because she didn’t have a ‘U’. Tom then said that he’d heard that in American scrabble they have a ‘QU’ character instead. My response was that it was probably one of our snotty oh-so-superior British urban myths where we like to think that our bigger, richer more successful cousins are nevertheless not quite as bright as we are. Then Flo told us an interesting story, apparently the American pronunciation of what we call ‘allah-mini-um’ (aluminium) and what the Americans call ‘a-loo-min-um’ (aluminum) is the original spelling and pronunciation that was employed by the British chemist who isolated the metal. Think ‘platinum’ rather than ‘titanium’. So there you go – Americans more ‘correct’ than us and another comforting myth about American stupidity exploded. However don’t get me on to ‘nucular’
The picture – another one from yesterday.


Blogger Mark Hill said...

Yeah, true, there isn't a Qu tile in American Scrabble. And I would like to think that nucular is confined to the Sarah Palin's of the world (shudder) but these are the same people who say mis-chee-vee-ous. Then again, I grew up in a region of the US where they "warsh" there clothes. Agghhh!

By the way, I love your artwork

1/05/2009 6:42 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Thanks Mark - I knew it wasn't true. By the way to the amusement of us Brits I see Sarah Palin has named her daughter Bristol. If you type bristols into a UK slang dictionary such as this one or even straight into Wikipedia, you'll see why it's funny.

1/06/2009 12:11 AM  

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