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Strange words & phrases & things in English

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by CalicoSkies, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Most Honored Senior Member

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    There are some English phrases that I had apparently been oblivious too (or just hadn't noticed) until a certain point and thought they're a little weird (and I am a native English speaker).. Maybe these might seem nitpicky, but here's my list:
    • Rucksack: I had never heard this word until I was studying German in high school. Rucksack is the German word for backpack. Then I started noticing people using "rucksack" in English speech & written things. I thought it was odd since we have the English word "backpack", and I've wondered why use a foreign-language word when English has a word for it?
    • The use of "an" before words starting with H. I hadn't noticed or heard of that rule until I was around 19 or so.
    • Using dots to separate elements of a date (such as 2020.04.17) or a phone number. For a date, I had always seen people use slashes or dashes, and for a phone number, I had always seen dashes (and sometimes the area code in parenthesis). I started noticing people using dots separating those things maybe 10ish years ago?
    • People saying numbers for months when speaking dates (such as "four seventeen 2020" for April 17, 2020) - I started noticing this also about 10ish years ago, and it sounds weird to me to hear a number spoken in place of a month name.
    Is there anything you never noticed people say or write until some point later in your life?
     
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  2. Jesse414

    Jesse414 Senior Stratmaster

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    I know there is stuff like that but I can't think of what right now. I'm to excited about paranormal caught on camera on tv and my new Bigfoot lunch box wanna see? 0417202208.jpg
     
  3. CephasG

    CephasG Senior Stratmaster

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    I knew about rucksack. It's the same word for backpack in Russian. I learned Russian before I learned English, so that explains it.
    Here is one I did not realize was a variant for jail - gaol. :D
     
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  4. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Sorta the other way round....

    I'll ask my wife...

    She is always saying...
    You're not in Otis Orchards any longer...
    People don't speak that way today...
    Farmer Boy
     
  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    We always called rucksacks knapsacks until the late 1970s.
    "An Hotel" drives me mad.
    Seventeen four twenty twenty here, day month year. Nine Eleven means a completely different day here, confused the old folks no end.

    I only started learning American after the interwebs, it's different seeing it written to just hearing it in films and on TV. I'm almost fluent after 25 years or so...
     
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  6. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Sometimes I wonder if international members may 'get' certain phrases.
    I had to learn a lot of new lingo when I moved South in the '80s.

    jargon
    slang
    jive talk
    dialect
    vocabulary
    etymology
    vernacular
    tongue
    sayings
    accent
    expressions
    -isms

    I just hope for the best.

    regards
     
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  7. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Library here in the states. Liebry in the UK.

    Backpack first, knapsack then rucksack.
     
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  8. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I reckon a lot of Southern speak is close to 18th Century British English.

    Yonder, etc.
     
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  9. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Maybe a carryover from when the H was silent ?

    a/an distinctions are hard to pronounce wrong but easy to misspell.
     
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  10. problem-child

    problem-child Senior Stratmaster

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    An before H... I looked this up a while back and they say it is because in English of a century ago or so the H was predominately silent. I'm thinking heavy UK influence. I still don't like it and refuse to use it that way. Supposedly, today it's okay either way.

    The ellipsis makes me nuts. Many people use it, poorly.
     
  11. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Who said that? ;) We pronounce it the same way.

    I've always known them as rucksacks.
     
  12. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not in written English, spoken it would depend where you are. In Yorkshire we older folks write English but rarely speak it, but the dialects are dying out now, a lot of the kids seem to speak some kind of West Indian...
     
  13. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's not a rule.

    You may use "an" before a vowel i.e an Elephant, but wouldn't say an Hedgehog would you?
     
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  14. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast Strat-Talk Supporter

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    More Southern speak: "Momback" this means keep backing up, you still have more room.
     
  15. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    I owe it, at least in part, to the rural themed sitcoms of the 1960s. :whistling:



     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  16. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I just hear it all the time.


    Oh I bet, I've heard some of your regional, more locally specific dialects. It's amazing it's the same language.

    West Indian? Would that be the origin of something like the word "bov", for brother?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  17. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Actually that would be monback. :)

    On occasion you will actually hear momanem
     
  18. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Aaaahaha!
     
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  19. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Some of it is regional.
    The rest I blame on computers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  20. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Depends on the region.
     
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