Random Anecdotes on Language and Such

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Londoners as bankers with obvious disdain.

I’ve been told that Americans consider the British to be uppity largely because we don’t understand the British sense of humor. It’s been said that Americans can’t laugh at themselves, and this is hard for a wry, self-deprecating people to understand. We just too take ourselves too seriously.

Duvets. In the States, I’ve often noted that we call the cover you put on a comforter a duvet, but here, it’s the whole rig–comforter and cover. Probably I’m misinformed. At any rate, I’m ditching my top sheet when I get home, like my Europe wise sister has, and making myself a couple of covers for done old comforters I already own. They provide much more comfortable sleeping. No waking up strangled by an errant bed sheet that has come untucked!

The English often end their sentences with a question stated as a comment, don’t they.

When traveling in England, always keep at least thirty p tucked away in case you need to use a public toilet, which they may call a loo, a wash room, or WC. Don’t confuse the many signs that read TO LET” for vandalized toilet signs. They are advertising rental properties.

The small silver coins are not dimes, they are 5 penny and the heavy goldfish ones about the size of a mickle, but thicker, are one pound pieces. All the coins require a magnifying glass to decipher their value. There are no paper one pound notes, and all the paper notes look and feel like play money.

They call ATM’s cash points.

Everyone here has a smartphone, and they are just as obnoxious as Americans in their use. I saw a guy riding a scooter in Mickleton talking on his cell as he zoomed through

Wireless Internet from BT Openzone has been available (for a fee) nearly every place I’ve been. I have not read the fine print, but this looks like a much cheaper option than the global package from Verizon. Many pubs and eateries have wifi, but you often have to ask, and they will give you the password.

Grocery stores really sell groceries. I have not yet encountered one with drug and sundries like we have in the States. This is a refreshing change, and makes it possible to dash in, grab some peanut butter, dash out, and not miss your train or bus. When you want something like cortisone ointment or micorazone, you’re going to need a specialty shop, and these don’t exist in the small villages.

In Stroud, at a place called Merrywalks that looks like the old retail district just above the rail station, I went hunting for a drug store. I asked a likely looking local man for directions. He was having a smoke outside his car on the cobble sidewalk. I started out asking for a pharmacy, and this elicited a puzzled look. A place they sell medicine, I said, a drug store. “oh, you mean a chemist,” he replied, quite seriously, pointed to the nearest crossroad, and said, “Up that one on the left.” Oddly enough, the name of the chemist was

One way tickets are singles, and round trips are returns. In many instances, a senior is a person 60 or over. Many buses offer free off-peak deals for resident seniors. One driver challenged an older woman in front of me. She’d requested a single to her destination. “I’ll only charge you to Stroud,” he countered, “then you can use your pass.” I’d never thought of that!” she said, with an appreciative nod.

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