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Grammar, You Gotta Love It!

I have my pet peeves and my questions. Why do so many people say 'ground' when Jack or whoever is inside, and 'floor' when he is outside? Is this a UK thing? Why, oh, why can't people get that 'span' is reach, not a past tense of spin? 'The Brooklyn Bridge was constructed to span the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.' 'Jack spun around quickly.' That is, without doubt, my biggest pet peeve. Point here is, I keep reading 'bored of' instead of 'bored with', which has always been common usage as far as I know. Lo and behold, I decided to google, "when did 'bored with' become 'bored of'. Didn't actually know you could phrase things that way in a search, but did it ever work. Here's the first result:

From here: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/bored-by-of-or-with

"Bored by, of, or with?

Which of these expressions should you use: is one of them less acceptable than the others?

Do you ever get bored with eating out all the time?

Delegates were bored by the lectures.

He grew bored of his day job.

The first two constructions, bored with and bored by, are the standard ones. The third, bored of, is more recent than the other two and it’s become extremely common. In fact, the Oxford English Corpus contains almost twice as many instances of bored of than bored by. It represents a perfectly logical development of the language, and was probably formed on the pattern of expressions such as tired of or weary of. Nevertheless, some people dislike it and it’s not fully accepted in standard English. It’s best to avoid using it in formal writing."

It's not as jarring as 'span' instead of 'spun', but the point really is, I love google. I love that I can come up with a very crudely-fashioned search question, and it gets answered regardless of my lack of skill with the English language. And yes, English is my first, and unfortunately only, language, and I'm still not very good at it. :) Although, I can say 'maisonnette' which I just learned my one-bedroom box is called in England. Also, 'croissant'. Hey, people, I speak French. ;) Oh, 'cafe au lait' you all.

Here's a good resource, if you're not sure about a word:


I look things up all the time. I'm especially bad with apostrophes, as in it's, its, or its', and I'm always having to go back and check. Don't you just love words and language and grammar and punctuation and all that jazz? Could it be more confusing? Possibly, but then I'd have to give up speaking all together. Which I also just looked up, and it's correct usage is 'altogether'. Who knew?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
No, in the UK it's 'ground' outside and 'floor' (or various floor coverings) inside. Unfortunately, some people are idiots and don't seem to understand that there's actually a difference and the two words aren't interchangeable. *wanders off muttering*

*wanders back* And why do people confuse 'wander' and 'wonder'? They mean completely different things!
Jul. 30th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
LOL I have no experience with people confusing 'wander' and 'wonder', but I can see how it would be confusing for the person dealing with the confused person. If you know what I mean. LOL You'd be surprised how many fanfics I've read that have Jack or Ianto falling to the floor outside, or to the ground inside. Huh???? I thought maybe it was one of those Brit things. Like chips for fries, and crisps for chips and biscuits for cookies. You people have weird language. LOL It's amazing how many times I find myself using a 'Brit-ism' though. Or spelling things with a 'u' where there isn't one in American spelling. Spell check hates me. Also, clearly I read waaay too much fanfiction.
Jul. 30th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
We have cookies too! As well as biscuits. Cookies tend to be knobblier, biscuits are just flat, lol!

I write in a fandom set in America now as well as one set in Wales, so I have to try to write Americanisms and miss out the 'u' half the time. My brain will probably implode soon o_O

I think it's fair to use 'ground' if it's inside the Torchwood Hub, because it's bare concrete, but one should never use 'floor' for outside, that's just daft.
Jul. 31st, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
Here ground is strictly outside. Usually with grass or dirt. Anything with walls and a roof has a floor. Even if it's dirt, it's called a dirt floor, not ground. Language is really confusing.
Jul. 31st, 2014 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh, what's the fandom? I usually only read TW and a bit of Sherlock, but willing to experiment. :)
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:40 am (UTC)
English is particularly confusing. The bottom floor (the one on street level) is called the ground floor, lol!

Braces, in England, are both the things to straighten teeth and the things that hold trousers up.

'Read' is both the present and the past tense, depending on the context of the sentence.

How many different things does the word 'fire' refer to? At least three. Same with 'batter'.

It's no wonder people get confused o_O
Jul. 31st, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
I used to keep a notebook of books I read/heard about that sounded interested. I would put 'read' next to the ones I had read. I lost it for awhile, and when I found it again, I couldn't remember if read meant I had or still needed to, so I had to put HAVE read, instead. Yes, my brain has issues. What can I say? LOL There a a LOT of words with more than one meaning and/or pronunciation, but that look exactly the same. Who thought this was a good idea? I don't think I would want to have to learn English as a second language. As I said, I have enough trouble with it as my first language. Sheesh! Actually, the ground floor thing makes sense to me, but then I'd still call the next floor up the second one, not the first, cause it's really not. I've seen braces written in some fics as bracers, although I do think it's only one person who does that. And the whole pants and trousers seems more reasonable than pants and underpants. Underpants (or panties) is a word I try to avoid. Unders is what I go with. Yes, I am strange. See the title of my other blog. LOL
Jul. 31st, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
It's always Ground Floor, First Floor to me, First Floor being the first one above ground level.

Undies, knickers, panties, all tend to refer to ladies' undergarments.

Briefs and pants can be either ladies or men's.

Boxers are men's, sometimes termed shorts or undershorts.

Underwear covers everything, I find that the most versatile and useful term.

The trousers in English/pants in America causes me trouble. I have used pants as trousers in a fic I've written for FAKE, it just fits the characters better.

Bracers are things archers wear on their arms! Keeps the bowstring from catching on the forearm. Usually made of leather or hide.

English is my first language (only language) but still baffles me too. I think it was invented by a forgetful person who made up combinations of letters and forgot they'd already been used for something completely different. Or it was invented by a committee who couldn't agree.

Jul. 31st, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
I did not know that about bracers. I guess that one person is just a bit confused.

I love, love, love your take on the invention of English. Made me laugh.
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Most people seem to be confused when it comes to English, lol!

I hate when Jack's braces are called 'suspenders'. Those are what hold stockings up! And I hate people calling Jack's coat a jacket - a jacket is a short coat, typically no longer than hip-length.
Jul. 31st, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, to the coat. A jacket is short, to the waist, usually. We have midthigh coats which are called car coats. Why???? Braces are called suspenders in the US, though. That belt thingy that you clip your stockings to is a garter belt. Nappies/diapers, prams/baby carriages/, cots/cribs, it's almost like a different language. ;)

Okay,so I googled cause the only things that came to mind were baby-related, even though I don't personally know any of those little people right now. I added 13a cause I only just figured it out about two weeks ago. Still not really positive I've gotten in right. Oh, and they don't mention fairy cakes, which we call cupcakes. Fairy cakes just sounds so much more, "Oh, how cute. I want one." I had figured out a bunch of them over the years, but I didn't know til now that checkers and draughts are the same thing. I do love language. Why is a ballpoint called a biro? Was that a brand name, like all tissues have sort of become kleenex? Is jumper a pull-over sweater or does it include button-down-the-front ones, what I would call a cardigan?

American Term British Term
1. ballpoint pen biro
2. toilet paper bog roll
3. umbrella brolly
4. fanny pack bum bag
5. cotton candy candy floss
6. french fry chip
7. plastic wrap clingfilm
8. zucchini courgette
9. potato chip crisp
10. checkers draughts
11. thumbtack drawing pin
12. busy signal engaged tone
13. soccer football
13a football rugby
14. astonished gobsmacked
15. sweater jumper
16. elevator lift
17. restroom loo
18. truck lorry
19. ground beef mince
20. diaper nappy
21. mailbox pillar box
22. bandage (Band-Aid) plaster
23. baby carriage/stroller pram
24. collect call reverse-charge call
25. aluminum can tin
26. to go drastically wrong to go pear-shaped
Aug. 1st, 2014 10:16 am (UTC)
Okay, let's see.

1. Biro was a brand name, it just stuck, but we use ballpoint too.
2. Toilet paper is still the same over here, bog roll is just a really slang term, mostly used by teenage boys in my experience.
3. Brolly is just a short form of umbrella. We use either.
4-7. True
8. We have zucchinis and courgettes (at least when growing them from seed). Courgettes are green, zucchinis are yellow. Different types of the same thing, but it's the green you see most in shops.
9-11. True
12. Both get used.
13. True
13a. Not really. No protection in rugby and the rules are totally different. We like American Football over here (I'm a long-time Bears fan).
14. Gobsmacked is slang, and I loathe the word. Tends to be used mostly by chavs. Most people are more likely to say 'stunned'.
15. Sweater, jumper, woolie, pullover, depends what region you come from. Cardigans have buttons down the front. Always. But we'll shorten that to cardi.
16. True
17. Depends where you are. In fancy places people ask where the restroom is, otherwise it's loo, toilet, lavatory. Sometimes lav, but I think that's another regional one, more common in some parts of the country than others.
18. Don't know if this is just me, but if the cab area can't be seperated from the trailer, it's a lorry, otherwise it's a truck.
19-20. True.
21. Pillar box is used less these days, we usually say postbox. That's probably because they're not always attached to pillars or shaped like free-standing pillars anymore. Time moves on.
22-23, true, but add pushchair, which was what they were called before stroller caught on.
24. Either one goes these days.
25. Tins usually have food in, cans have drinks in (and are aluminium as opposed to whatever the food tins are made of, lol!
26. Yay!

We have suspender belts and garter belts. Suspender belts fasten around the waist and are weird shapes, garter belts are completely elasticated and much simpler, you step into them, just a frilly band that fits around the waist and four dangly bits for clipping to stockings.

Fairy cakes and cupcakes are two different things. Cupcakes usually have thick icing on top. Fairy cakes, you cut the top off and cut that part in two, apply buttercream to the top of the cake, then put the cut off bits back as little 'wings' sticking out of the buttercream, hence fairy cakes.

Hope that helps!

Oh, vest is an undergarment, what you call a vest we call a waistcoat.

Car boot/trunk
Car bonnet/hood
Car bumper/fender ;)
Aug. 1st, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
8. Zucchini is green, summer squash is yellow.

13a. I like Australian football. Rugby sounds more like that.

17. We usually just say 'bathroom', or 'restroom'.

18. If the trailer unhitches (but is not actually a 'trailer'), it is a semi. Semi-truck? Half a truck?

21. Mailboxes are just that, boxes. Blue boxes on legs. Unless they're at your home, then they're an oblong thingy on a post or a flattish square attached to your house.

23. I always thought a pushchair was a wheelchair. ???

24. You might tell the operator to reverse the charges, but you would refer to it as a collect call. "Call me collect. I don't mind."

I don't know suspender belts, garter belt is as you described. I did know vest/waistcoat. Vest is called an undershirt here.

I thought fairy cakes were cupcakes, and what you described were called butterfly cakes. It really is like a different language, isn't it?

I've been having fun with this. Thanks.
Aug. 1st, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, fenders are the things above the wheels, bumpers are on either end of the car, usually chrome.
Aug. 1st, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
*grins* It's fascinating to chart the differences.

Maybe it's because of my fascination with American trucks, A semi-truck is what I think of when someone says 'truck' (I love truck movies - Duel, Convoy, Smokey and the Bandit, etc. Also love Ice Road Truckers). Macks, Kenworths, Peterbilts, love 'em!

Nope, a wheelchair is a wheelchair, pushchairs (when I was a young 'un) were the next stage after prams, mostly used for toddlers. They were cumbersome and awkward to fold up. Mum folded my sister up in hers by accident one day when loaded with shopping, released the clips before taking my sister out and the whole thing just folded, lol! I think that was before I was boern, she told me about it.

Yeah, rugby is probably closer to Australian football than to American Footall, which is more a game of tactics, aimed at advancing the ball down the field; I love it! I see the QBs as like the field commander, giving the orders. I don't get to watch as much as I used to - games are live these days, so usually start in the early hours.

Some houses have mailboxes attached to the house wall, locking boxrs that post is put in. We do. There's a postbox on the corner of our street,the traditional red one:


Edited at 2014-08-01 05:33 pm (UTC)
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
The last kind always makes me think of a lunchbox on a stick, lol!
Aug. 1st, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
You're right. LOL
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )