Minor Differences

It’s come to my attention that Wednesdays are by far my busiest day of the week. I’ve got 8am class with Hitchcock, 9am (9:20)-11am lecture for Romanticism, my Romanticism seminar at 11:00, and my Cinema & Culture seminar at noon, after which I either return home after stopping at Tesco for groceries and perhaps do laundry, or stay in the library for several hours to get caught up on the strangely large amounts of seemingly pointless busywork we keep getting assigned.
Amazingly, I can hear all of you reading this right now weeping tragically for my cause.


Cue the violins.

Thanks to my uncanny ability to detect sarcasm, I understand. I think it’s important to know that I’m still not complaining, though I do love the sound of a sad violin.

Despite being so horrifically busy (ha!), I can’t help but keep getting distracted by the most random things around here. I knew there would be small differences in a couple things (Yes, French fries are chips and chips are crisps. Got that one), but there are some I really wasn’t even thinking about. Cell phones are mobiles, bathrooms are simply toilets, and diapers are nappies. “Dipping” means “stealing a purse,” and “cheers” covers all forms of “thank you,” “you’re lovely,” and “good-bye.” People don’t really use the word “fine,” but instead heavily rely on “grand.” Sweatpants are tracksy-bottoms, and speaking of bottoms, God help you if you compliment someone on their pants instead of their trousers.


The other thing that really keeps throwing me are the spellings of things. For those of you who know the history of your language, we have Teddy Roosevelt to thank for all the confusion. I knew that we’d be visiting cultural centres instead of centers, and seeing performances at theatres rather than theaters, but it goes beyond the simple er-re switch. In lecture notes we learn how poetry can empathise or sympathise with different groups in centralised locations, depending on the brasenness of the subject, and how much it may have been criticised, or even recognised. And, of course, we can’t forget about the u’s that are everywhere — in colours, harbours, valour, glamour, favours, endeavours, rumours, moulds, and who knows where all else.

He tried to warn me.

I know it’s been said, but we really are countries separated by a common language. Other notable differences can be found in the media. The amount of nudity and crude humor (humour?) constantly being broadcast is a little unnerving to us modest Americans, but it’s really not considered a big deal here at all. It’s nice that the government spends time and energy on things that actually matter, like unemployment and education, rather than stupidly trivial things that some people take too seriously.

Pictured: Eminent Threat to the American Public.

All in all, they’re minor differences for a reason: they don’t actually matter. Different spellings and pronunciations of the same words never started any wars [citation needed], and let’s be serious, if everyone was exactly the same as us, there’d be no value to ever traveling anywhere. Also, people probably wouldn’t hate us as much.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot to get done on this, the busiest day of my week.

2 responses to “Minor Differences

  1. Lindsay! I love reading your blog. The whole thing about ‘cheers’ made a lightbulb go over my head. See, the Australian server at work always says cheers. Do you say “you’re welcome” to cheers? Cuz that just sounds really stupid.


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