The Words Get in the Way

by Tony Bishop on October 17, 2006

It was interesting, the reports in US web-sites about a Kiwi angler who “snagged” a 700lb tuna. Great fish and all, but the reports show just how different Amglish has become. The reports I am sure were meant to indicate the angler had caught the fish, but in English snagged means to foul-hook a fish, by accident or worse.

The list of the differences between English and Amglish are many, but some can lead to great embarassment – like when I asked a Secretary of a company I was visiting in the US for a rubber. Fortunately help was at hand to explain I wanted an eraser.

I can still remember my reaction when a female US client of mine asked me to hand her, her fanny pack. In English ‘fanny’ is not the backside, and only females have one.

Still I suppose that all these differences only serve to enrich the language, because if English is nothing else it is constantly evolving. But there is one word that Amglish has invented that has no place in anybodies language, and that is ‘gotten’, it is ugly, it is inelegant, and the originator should be shot at dawn 🙂

Anonymous October 26, 2006 at 3:16 am

Well, the exact same can be said for the Kiwi-English. Improper pronunciations (scallops for example, look it up), strange uses of words (don’t get me started, and I have been to England and it isn’t even close to the same despite the accent). The first several times I heard the phrase “Sweet-as” I thought they were complimenting my rear end. But the US has the same from region to region. Hell, in California, if you don’t speak a bit of Spanish, you may have no idea what’s being said to you. I just take a small offense to the Amglish, since even in England the accents and colloquialisms change within 50 miles of each other – sorry 75km of each other. You’ll notice that in other languages as well traveling from region to region. Snag in the US also means ‘accidentally’ landing a fish, such as the most recent world record bass caught in Arkansas, hooked through the front dorsal if I recall correctly – either way, the fish obviously wasn’t going for the lure. You can bet the author of the article you’re refering to, wasn’t an angler.

Bishfish October 26, 2006 at 5:36 am

Anon Emous, dont get your knickers in a twist, or your panties in puddle, or trousers in a tangle, depending on where you live of course – I was trying to be irreverent at worst, and have no anti-american sentiments, hell I have fought with, surfed with, and fished with quite a few.
It is just the tendency to talk funny 🙂 – but I will not back off one millimetre from ‘gotten’ 🙂

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