Discussion:
You know you're reading a book set in the UK when...
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Tony Cooper
2017-04-25 19:24:59 UTC
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In reading a novel set in the UK I decided to list the words and terms
that identify the book as being set in the UK. Spelling differences
(colour/color) were ignored and as were place references. Also
skipped were the commonplace differences like flat/apartment and
solicitor/lawyer. I also skipped "digestive biscuit" because that's
been discussed here often enough to be a commonplace difference.
Still, it sounds medicinal to me rather than something tasty.

the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked

the doctor had rooms at...AmE = the doctor's office was located at

she lives at Number 11...AmE = her address was 11 (street name)

the doctor's surgery...AmE = the doctor's office

he waved them through to the next room...AmE = he waved then into the
next room (waved could be "motioned")

when he was demobbed...AmE = when he was discharged

he had a reader's ticket to...AmE = he had a library card or a pass if
to an academic library

he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room

the firm's overheads were...AmE = the firm's overhead was (like
"math", we don't add the "s")

he worked as a chippie...AmE = he worked as a carpenter (Interesting
that a "chippy" is a place but a "chippie" is person)

she was gasping for a...AmE = she was desperate for a (a large choice
of words here, but "gasping" isn't one of them)

they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.

The last one is "messages" with the meaning of "dog poop", but I
didn't write down how that was used in the sentence.

There are, of course, other words and phrases that identify a book as
being British-written, but these are the ones in the book I just
finished.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2017-04-25 19:44:17 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
In reading a novel set in the UK I decided to list the words and terms
that identify the book as being set in the UK. Spelling differences
(colour/color) were ignored and as were place references. Also
skipped were the commonplace differences like flat/apartment and
solicitor/lawyer. I also skipped "digestive biscuit" because that's
been discussed here often enough to be a commonplace difference.
Still, it sounds medicinal to me rather than something tasty.
the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked
I always thought the meant locked (latched).
Post by Tony Cooper
he waved them through to the next room...AmE = he waved then into the
next room (waved could be "motioned")
Thank you.
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
command post?
Horace LaBadie
2017-04-25 21:22:37 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
when he was demobbed...AmE = when he was discharged
The formal term in the USA was demobilization, from which demob was
obviously derived. Why discharge replaced demob in the USA is anybody's
guess.
pensive hamster
2017-04-25 21:36:26 UTC
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On Tuesday, 25 April 2017 20:25:01 UTC+1, Tony Cooper wrote:
[...]
Post by Tony Cooper
he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room
Lounge is a bit non-U, allegedly, and also a bit 1960s. U words
are (with)drawing room or sitting room.

There is also "front room", which is the sitting room in a traditional
terraced house.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English
Harrison Hill
2017-04-25 22:01:44 UTC
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Post by pensive hamster
[...]
Post by Tony Cooper
he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room
Lounge is a bit non-U, allegedly, and also a bit 1960s. U words
are (with)drawing room or sitting room.
There is also "front room", which is the sitting room in a traditional
terraced house.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English
None of us Brits are pretentious enough to have a "drawing room"
or a "sitting room". "Lounges" are familiar enough from airports.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-04-26 03:30:21 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by pensive hamster
Post by Tony Cooper
he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room
Lounge is a bit non-U, allegedly, and also a bit 1960s. U words
are (with)drawing room or sitting room.
There is also "front room", which is the sitting room in a traditional
terraced house.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English
None of us Brits are pretentious enough to have a "drawing room"
or a "sitting room". "Lounges" are familiar enough from airports.
Houses in David Lodge novels have lounges.
Tony Cooper
2017-04-26 00:38:05 UTC
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On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:36:26 -0700 (PDT), pensive hamster
Post by pensive hamster
[...]
Post by Tony Cooper
he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room
Lounge is a bit non-U, allegedly, and also a bit 1960s. U words
are (with)drawing room or sitting room.
There is also "front room", which is the sitting room in a traditional
terraced house.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English
We (my family) often refer to our "front room", too. It's
interchangeable with "living room" in our vocabulary. I don't know if
that's a regional thing or an anywhere-in-the-US thing.

The book from which I noted the terms (The Marx Sisters - Barry
Maitland) was published in 1994. There's nothing in the book that I
remember that dates the setting.

Maitland was born in Scotland, raised in London, and currently (1994)
teaches at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter Moylan
2017-04-26 04:00:53 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:36:26 -0700 (PDT), pensive hamster
Post by pensive hamster
[...]
Post by Tony Cooper
he was in the lounge...AmE = he was in the living room
Lounge is a bit non-U, allegedly, and also a bit 1960s. U words
are (with)drawing room or sitting room.
There is also "front room", which is the sitting room in a traditional
terraced house.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English
We (my family) often refer to our "front room", too. It's
interchangeable with "living room" in our vocabulary. I don't know if
that's a regional thing or an anywhere-in-the-US thing.
Our house has a front room without a suitable name. "Entry hall" doesn't
quite fit because it's definitely a room, not a hall. It contains a
piano, two bookcases, a large table, and sometimes some hard seats. (The
seats tend to move from room to room, depending on need.) No lounge
chairs. My wife calls it the dining room because it contains a dining
table, but we've never eaten a meal there. I call it the top room, with
equal lack of logic.
Post by Tony Cooper
The book from which I noted the terms (The Marx Sisters - Barry
Maitland) was published in 1994. There's nothing in the book that I
remember that dates the setting.
Maitland was born in Scotland, raised in London, and currently (1994)
teaches at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
He's been in Newcastle for quite a while, so his vocabulary is a mixture
of English and Australian. Most of the examples you gave would work
equally well in Australia, although I don't think Australian houses ever
had latchstrings.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-04-25 23:14:47 UTC
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On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room

An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'

The practice of Scotland Yard taking over a case from the local plods is
a scenario used in older crime fiction. While it is not impossible
today, it is much less likely. In relatively recent years police forces
have been amalgamated. That means that although other forces are still
smaller than the London Metropolitan Police ("Scotland Yard") the
mismatch in resources and capabilities is much less than it used to be..

There are 39 forces in England, 4 in Wales and 1 each in Northern
Ireland and Scotland.

There are some so-called "non-territorial" police organisations.

More info here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_the_United_Kingdom,_Crown_dependencies_and_British_Overseas_Territories#Territorial_police_forces
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Tony Cooper
2017-04-26 00:44:23 UTC
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On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.

In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
bill van
2017-04-26 01:12:56 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.
In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
It wouldn't show up in news reporting because the police would never let
a reporter anywhere near an incident room, where many of the details of
their investigations are all over the walls. It's a fairly obvious
police tool for major investigations, however, so it does show up in
fiction about such investigations.
--
bill
Tony Cooper
2017-04-26 03:06:04 UTC
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Post by bill van
Post by Tony Cooper
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.
In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
It wouldn't show up in news reporting because the police would never let
a reporter anywhere near an incident room, where many of the details of
their investigations are all over the walls. It's a fairly obvious
police tool for major investigations, however, so it does show up in
fiction about such investigations.
I understand that, but the "incident room" in question is one that is
set up in a place other than the police headquarters of the
investigating force.

Is that done?
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2017-04-26 03:32:59 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by bill van
Post by Tony Cooper
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.
In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
It wouldn't show up in news reporting because the police would never let
a reporter anywhere near an incident room, where many of the details of
their investigations are all over the walls. It's a fairly obvious
police tool for major investigations, however, so it does show up in
fiction about such investigations.
I understand that, but the "incident room" in question is one that is
set up in a place other than the police headquarters of the
investigating force.
Is that done?
I still say it's a command post.

I realize you're unwilling to acknowledge your support of my comparison of
BrE "through" with AmE "in."
Tony Cooper
2017-04-26 04:04:04 UTC
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On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:32:59 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by bill van
Post by Tony Cooper
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.
In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
It wouldn't show up in news reporting because the police would never let
a reporter anywhere near an incident room, where many of the details of
their investigations are all over the walls. It's a fairly obvious
police tool for major investigations, however, so it does show up in
fiction about such investigations.
I understand that, but the "incident room" in question is one that is
set up in a place other than the police headquarters of the
investigating force.
Is that done?
I still say it's a command post.
Wonderful. Not the question, not the term, but something that might
be used.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
I realize you're unwilling to acknowledge your support of my comparison of
BrE "through" with AmE "in."
Well, it wasn't support. As I remember what the previous discussion
was about, it concerned the phrase "Come/Go through". One of the
characters in one of your Gold Standards of Modern British Phrasing -
Keeping Up Appearances, Last of the Summer Wine, As Time Goes By, or
whatever Geofffrey Palmer was in when Thatcher was in office - stood
at a door and told someone to "Come through" or "Go Through", but you
couldn't see a room in which they had to pass through to get to the
next room. That totally flummoxed you.

That is a different usage than my example: "he waved them through to
the next room". In my example, there *is* a next room. And, my
example of AmE would be: he waved then [sic] into the next room
(waved could be "motioned"). Not "in", "into".

Although, I suspect your intent here is to do your dome/dom thing and
simply open the door to rehashing something you've already belabored
far too much.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
bill van
2017-04-26 03:59:08 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by bill van
Post by Tony Cooper
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:14:47 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
they set up an incident room...AmE = I don't think there's an AmE
term. "Incident room" is used where Scotland Yard takes over a case
from the local plods, and we don't seem to have a similar structure.
"Incident room" is more general. Any police force will establish one
when necessary.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/incident-room
An incident room is a room used by the police while they are dealing
with a major crime or accident.
[British]
'Police have set up an incident room as they begin to investigate
this morning's fire.'
This I knew from other reading. My comment was that we don't seem to
have a similar structure in the US where an outside police force will
take up an investigation in some town and set up an "incident room"
when the crime is considered to be too major for the locals.
In the case of a federal crime (ie: kidnapping), the FBI will take
over the case. That is somewhat similar, but the term "incident room"
has never been seen in any reporting I've seen. They probably do set
up some local site, but I've never seen it reported.
It wouldn't show up in news reporting because the police would never let
a reporter anywhere near an incident room, where many of the details of
their investigations are all over the walls. It's a fairly obvious
police tool for major investigations, however, so it does show up in
fiction about such investigations.
I understand that, but the "incident room" in question is one that is
set up in a place other than the police headquarters of the
investigating force.
Is that done?
Now you're talking about FBI procedures when they take over an
investigation where they don't have offices. I have no way of knowing
whether they set up their own incident rooms or use the local police
facilities. I would hope the latter, assuming the local cops are
considered trustworthy.
--
bill
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-04-25 23:55:40 UTC
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On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked
I haven't heard that one for decades.

I think it comes from the simple latch used on a gate or the door of a
garden shed or similar.
Like this one:
Loading Image...

That would be on the inside of the door. Note the lever coming through a
hole in the door. That can be used to lift the latch from the other side
of the door.

Wooden latches from a supplier with addresses in the US and Canada:
http://www.snugcottagehardware.com/Snug%20Product%20Pages/Latches%20for%20wood%20Traditional/Wooden%20Latches.html

If the door needs to be locked there would be a separate lock.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
David Kleinecke
2017-04-26 00:37:00 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:24:59 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked
I haven't heard that one for decades.
I think it comes from the simple latch used on a gate or the door of a
garden shed or similar.
http://www.empagroup.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/shed-door-latch-bekkers-garden-shed-door-latches-guide-design.jpg
That would be on the inside of the door. Note the lever coming through a
hole in the door. That can be used to lift the latch from the other side
of the door.
http://www.snugcottagehardware.com/Snug%20Product%20Pages/Latches%20for%20wood%20Traditional/Wooden%20Latches.html
If the door needs to be locked there would be a separate lock.
Where the latch string hangs out (or doesn't) the latch
itself is just a bar on a hinge that drops down to bar the
door. The latch string is tied to the bar and there is a
small hole in the door above the latch. If the string is
poked through the hole and hanging on the outside a newcomer
can unlatch the door by pulling the string. Pull the string
out of the hole and the door is locked.
Mark Brader
2017-04-26 00:46:00 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tony Cooper
the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked
I haven't heard that one for decades.
I think it comes from the simple latch used on a gate or the door of a
garden shed or similar.
My parents used to use "on the half-latch" when speaking of a car door
that hadn't been pushed hard enough to fully close it. It was in the
condition where it stops a fraction of an inch short of being closed,
but is latched so it won't swing open again. I still don't know any
other phrase for that state (or any other kind of doors that work that
way, for that matter).
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "Sex on trains, of course."
***@vex.net -- Clive Feather

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Tony Cooper
2017-04-26 00:54:54 UTC
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Post by Mark Brader
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tony Cooper
the door was on the latch...AmE = unlocked
I haven't heard that one for decades.
I think it comes from the simple latch used on a gate or the door of a
garden shed or similar.
My parents used to use "on the half-latch" when speaking of a car door
that hadn't been pushed hard enough to fully close it. It was in the
condition where it stops a fraction of an inch short of being closed,
but is latched so it won't swing open again. I still don't know any
other phrase for that state (or any other kind of doors that work that
way, for that matter).
Or, in a shorter term, "ajar". Normally, though, a door that is ajar
is partially open and not just not-quite-closed-firmly.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter Moylan
2017-04-26 04:02:10 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
he waved them through to the next room...AmE = he waved then into the
next room (waved could be "motioned")
Careful, there, Tony. You could accidentally revive the argument about
that doctor in Cornwall.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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