Talk:English language varieties

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Archived discussions can be found below:

Railroad vs. railway[edit]

Realistically, is anyone likely to be confused by this? Should we delete this entry? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:41, 10 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I'm pretty ambivalent about this, but personally, I never found it confusing. Even when I say "railway", which I still sometimes do out of habit, the Americans I have met so for have no problem understanding me. I also question the need for the "track/platform" entry. I think it's standard in both British and American English that the track is where the train runs, and the platform is the structure you board the train from. When I was at Grand Central Terminal, I had no problems understanding what was meant when they said the train was departing from Track 100 (or whatever number it was). The dog2 (talk) 22:30, 10 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't there sometimes a different logic, though? Some stations number only the platforms and then have the actual tracks labeled "platform xy northbound" or some such. Or is that me getting stuff wrong? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:33, 10 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I'd say delete both railway/railroad & platform/track. Neither is of much use to a traveller. Pashley (talk) 23:27, 10 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
We absolutely use "railway" as well as "railroad" in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:19, 11 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think there's like two or three of them all across the US who use the rarer term in their own full name (some hyphenated) and the others use the more common term. But at least judging from my experience with Americans who know that Amtrak exists, either term will be understood and you'll likely not even get a "that's a weird term" reaction... Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:06, 11 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
So is that a consensus to remove both then? The dog2 (talk) 03:44, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Removed. From a UK perspective, "railroad" is not used here in the modern day, but the meaning is obvious and widely-known. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:33, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I've also removed track/platform. If you're talking about the physical structures, the words "track" and "platform" have the exact same meanings in British and American English. And I highly doubt it will confuse a competent English speaker whether you tell him/her to board the train at Track 1 or Platform 1. The meaning should be obvious. The dog2 (talk) 18:16, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Fire from work[edit]

Prematurely? Usually for misconduct? I didn't remove this text, but in the U.S., you can be fired for any reason in most cases, as lots of states have at-will employment. So should we remove that language? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:03, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Not to get into the details of US labor law, but is the standard contract a "we can fire you at any time" contract or is there some sort of protection? If memory serves, in Germany you automatically get a contract without any end-date after a certain amount of time in the company unless they provide a very good reason and it is quite common to get a contract for a quite long time as the first contract. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:09, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
It really depends what your job is. Germany is one of many "Western" countries with much stronger labor laws than the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:31, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Is this really a difference between British and American English though? I've never had a problem understanding either term, so I highly doubt this would be a source of confusion. The dog2 (talk) 18:14, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In the UK, both terms are understood and used, though "fired" is probably seen as an americanism by some. Still, the boss on our version of The Apprentice reality series says "You're fired" like Trump used to, and not "You're sacked!"
The question I have is whether speakers of American English would understand "I was sacked today.", "The manager had to give him the sack.", or even "Priti Patel summoned back to UK as PM prepares to sack her." --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:47, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Well, we do know the term "sack the quarterback", which means to tackle him behind the line of scrimmage for a loss, and we also know the meaning of "the Vandals sacked [i.e., trashed and looted] Rome". I guess I could go either way on including this. Perhaps on balance it's good to include, but I still question the definition. I'd use simply "to terminate from employment". Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:35, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I know that in the English I learnt, "to sack" is also used into the sense as "to terminate employment". If someone tells me something like "John Smith was sacked today.", I will understand it to mean that he was fired from his job. The dog2 (talk) 22:31, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
We don't use that meaning in the U.S., but it was easy for me to understand by context when I heard on BBC that "so-and-so was sacked from his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs because of his involvement in sex scandals" or something. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:12, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
So do you think it would be good to remove then? Even if it is not used by Americans, I think it's not too difficult to figure out from context, and travellers aren't likely to use this term very often anyway. The dog2 (talk) 22:16, 14 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yes; frankly, this entry flirts with the boundaries of our scope. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:23, 14 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I rather like dejobbed but do not think we should add it. Pashley (talk) 23:47, 14 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
No, and I agree that sacked is not essential to include. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:49, 15 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Well it has the same relevance to travel as the overcomplicated information on education systems of the world. People travel for work just as they travel for education. Some of those people end up getting the sack. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:39, 15 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't disagree. I'm just saying I could take it or leave it. I'm perfectly OK with including it, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:44, 15 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, despite being positioned as a direct reply to you, it wasn't meant to be. Just a general response to the direction this conversation has gone in since I last posted :-) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:19, 15 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yams et al: who really cares?[edit]

As interesting as the now quite detailed definitions, complete with taxonomic name for the biologists amongst us, of each of these relatively similar root vegetables is, what is the point of it all? This distinction, and potential misunderstandings that could arise from it, are unimportant to the vast majority of travellers. A traveller from Ghana in the USA might be disappointed that a "yam" dish served to her in a restaurant actually contains what she would call sweet potato, and that's about as serious a problem as not knowing this information will cause the vast majority of people.

Since the original, much briefer version of this information was apparently considered incorrect or misleadingly incomplete, and the current comprehensive and factual version is way too encyclopaedic for Wikivoyage, I propose we revert to the last version of this article that didn't mention the word "yam" anywhere. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:26, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

How about reducing it to a note that in the United States, orange sweet potatoes are sometimes called "yams", and leave it at that? I think it's worth a brief note. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:44, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think we should clear up the confusion as best and as concise we can. After all, those are the basis of starch in the diet of some cultures and what would you say if the word for zea mays in one dialect of some pluricentric language were the word for solanum tuberosum in another dialect of that same language. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:46, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I would say that a very small percentage of our readership would know what those Latin names mean unless they looked them up elsewhere. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:01, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Such a note could be made in United States#Eat, rather than here. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:19, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, because nobody ever complained about the USA article being too long... /sarcasm. As for the Latin names; I agree that they aren't widely known, but they are the only clear and culture independent names where everybody can look up what their local word would be. Precisely what's not the case for the vernacular names in all too many cases. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:36, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The note should be here, because this is the "English language varieties" article and this is an issue of English language variety. Is the term "sweet potato" ambiguous in any native-speaker dialect of English? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:48, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
If you both think there should be some info on this page, that fine. Let's make it briefer than it is currently. Ikan's original note idea works for me. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:17, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I just read the entry on yams and sweet potatoes again. The fact that "yam" means something different in New Zealand than in other non-U.S. English-speaking countries - does that need to be covered, too? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:34, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Personally, I think all the entries about marginally popular vegetables - not only yams/sweet potatoes/oca/kumara but also rutabaga/swedes and arguably arugula/rocket/roquette - are too extraneous to further burden the article with. But if we're really going to include them all, I don't see any way to give full coverage to the issue of yams et al. more briefly than we already do. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
One way of cutting it down slightly is by getting rid of the scientific names at the bare minimum. This isn't Wikispecies. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:37, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]


I don't know if this is worth making a note under the "route" entry, but my what I was indicating in my original note was that the continuous tense of both words is spelt "routing". The word "rout" rhymes with shout in all varieties of English, so the continuous tense of both words would be pronounced as in "shouting" in American English, but would be pronounced as in "shooting" and "shouting" in British English depending on which meaning you intend. And just as a note, the use of the word "rout" is does not only apply to wars, but can also be used in a sports context. For instance, in football (soccer), when the score margin is huge, it is not uncommon to hear commentators say that "this has turned into a rout". The dog2 (talk) 00:04, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Well the term rout in that sense is only used as a war metaphor for sports. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:22, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict)I understood what you meant, and wouldn't be opposed to your reinstating of that info from a factual point of view. Its applicability (purely focusing on the "routing" conjugation, not the word "rout" as a whole) is rather limited, however. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:26, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I agree than the "routing" conjugation is quite uncommon in the context of the word "rout", though I would say it is fairly common in the context of the word "route". Since Americans pronounce "routing" the same way whether it is a conjugation of "route" or "rout", while Brits pronounce it differently depending on which meaning is intended, I wonder if Brits could be confused if an American says something like "follow this routing". Come to think of it, the past tense for both route and rout is "routed", so the same issue could potentially arise with this too. The dog2 (talk) 05:27, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
We would say "Take this route". I can't really imagine what dialect of American English would say "Follow this routing". Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:31, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) So it is (referring to routed before edit conflict). To me, "Follow this routing" doesn't seem like very good English, regardless of pronunciation, though it could be normal in America (confirmed by Ikan that it probably isn't). Assuming it is (before edit conflict!), in the right context it wouldn't be difficult for me to understand (rout and route are so different in their meaning, that there won't be many times where the context doesn't indicate which one is being used); I might wonder why they didn't just say "Follow this route", though.
With regards to the pronunciation table as a whole, I am somewhat hesitant to even say it's needed. Most native speakers will usually understand a word when it's pronounced differently to how they're used to, because most native speakers know people with different accents to their own, so there is not the same barrier to communication as when completely different words are used. An American blathering about eggplants and rutabagas in England will likely be met with blank stares, but if they say that they need to find the correct "rowt" in order to stick to their "skedul", people will understand them perfectly, even if the pronunciations strike them as weird.
I definitely think "advertisement", "borough", "schedule" and "Tuesday" should be struck off the table, as their pronunciations are not going to cause anyone any trouble. I'm also wondering about "route" for the reason given above. That would leave the motley crew of "leisure", "lieutenant" and "zed / zee" which may potentially be incomprehensible when pronounced differently to how the traveller expects. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:42, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, British people would probably understand most American pronunciations because of Hollywood. But it doesn't necessarily apply the other way round. Most Americans have had little to no exposure to British pop culture and hence, almost no exposure to British pronunciations, so it is not uncommon to draw blank stares from Americans when pronouncing something the British way. At least from my experience, a well-educated upper class American who graduated from Harvard or MIT would usually know what you mean, but this is often not the case when you talk to working class Americans. The dog2 (talk) 15:41, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

So we're just going to keep adding any old word with the slightest pronunciation difference, are we? Perhaps I should start adding differences among various accents of England ("up" / "oop" / "ahp"; "barth" / "bath" / "baath") just to make the article as overstuffed and unfocused as possible. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:25, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

ThunderingTyphoons! - I've plunged forward and reverted all the extraneous additions to the pronunciation section. The user in question who's added most of the information is not a regular participant in discussions on this talk page. If s/he really feels strongly that the information should be included, s/he can chime in here and explain why, but in general, people should know by now that we're trying to slim this article down, and it's not a good idea to add information without vetting it here first. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:09, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, Andre, appreciate it. Now maybe we can review some of the others I mentioned above as well, namely "advertisement", "borough", "schedule" and "Tuesday". Is it really true that the average American would be baffled by British pronunciations of those? I'm not sure why lack of exposure to UK pop culture would switch off their common sense. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:20, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In those changes however, a change to the geographic range of something in New Zealand was also swept up. I have no idea about accents in New Zealand, so I don't know which (if any) of the claims is more correct or if such detail is necessary but I wanted to point it out. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:09, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I'll go with a consensus, but it is somewhat known that New Zealanders from the southern end of South Island have a rhotic accent, while the rest of New Zealand is non-rhotic. I believe Lcmortensen is a New Zealander, so maybe you can confrim this point. The dog2 (talk) 16:31, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the accent thing was specifically deleted, I rather think it got swept up in a large-scale revert. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:34, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I restored that phrasing to how our New Zealand editor put it. He / she probably knows best on that front. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:22, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yes I am a New Zealander (from Greater Wellington specifically). As stated in the New Zealand article: The New Zealand accent is mostly non-rhotic (i.e. no rolling r sound after vowels), except in the lower half of the South Island where the rhotic "Southland burr" accent persists due to high Scottish immigration in the region's early days.. Lcmortensen (talk) 22:15, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, and sorry for not discussing first - I was in a bit of a "plunge forward" moment. Lcmortensen (talk) 22:18, 2 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Speaking of which, I agree with ThunderingTyphoons! that some of the pairs could be considered for removal. In fact I think 2 words that could legitimately cause confusion but are not in the list include "derby" and "clerk". Although I did mention that most Americans have little to no exposure to British pop culture, I also believe that if the pronunciation differences are very slight, it wouldn't pose a problem. On that note, I'd say we can perhaps remove at least "borough" and "Tuesday", since I believe the pronunciation differences are slight enough not to cause a problem. Perhaps the Americans here like AndreCarrotflower and Ikan Kekek can provide their two cents' worth. The dog2 (talk) 04:20, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I think "borough" and "Tuesday" should go, but the rest are at least potential sources of confusion and should likely stay. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:20, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
"Borough" is no issue and is pronounced as "burrah" in the South, among other places. I can't imagine "Tuesday" confusing people; the context will make it completely clear. "Clerk" seems borderline, as I suppose "derby" is, but how often is that word used? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:44, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the inclusion of "clerk" and "derby" is necessary. The former, in particular, would likely be inferred through the context of the sentence even if listeners found the pronunciation confusing. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:55, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Alrighty. That seems like a decent compromise. Any other opinions? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:26, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In Germany at the very least "Derby" is a sports term that I have found baffles Americans. Is the word used in that sense in Britain? Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
A derby is a sports event in Britain, normally either a horse race (e.g. the W:Epsom Derby), or a match between two rival teams from the same city or area (e.g. the W:Manchester derby pits United and City football clubs against one another). Of course, there is also Derby and Derbyshire which may have some relevance to this. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:02, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The question then, I guess, would be whether or not a significant number of Americans travel to Europe to watch British sports. If I'm not wrong, the usage of the term "derby" in the U.S. is limited only to horse racing. In my years here I have never heard Americans use the term to refer to say, a match between say, the Lakers and the Clippers, or between the Cubs and the White Sox. The American term would be a "cross-town rivalry". Speaking of which, I wonder if this warrants a separate entry under "Do". While the meaning of "cross-town rivalry" would be obvious to Brits, I won't be surprised if Americans get confused by the term "derby" being used in this sense. The dog2 (talk) 18:02, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
There may be Americans who travel to Europe for football, but those who do so are likely to be fans of the sport at home, no? Or at least watch the major Premier League / European games on TV. If they do that, they know what a derby is. If they don't, they're probably not interested. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:14, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Scenario: Major police presence, an American asks what's up. German says "Oh that's because of the Derby". American is confused. To give you an idea, maybe this Youtube video is instructive... here another Youtuber reacts to the former video. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:33, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

But that scenario, should it need to be covered at all on Wikivoyage, belongs on Germany. It's not a matter involving two varieties of English clashing, but rather a German word with a specific meaning not found in English that, in the same vein as "Handy", happens to look and sound exactly like an English word. Does one come from the other? Probably, but they're still different words. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:21, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
No, when Nuremberg plays Fürth or when Dortmund play Schalke that's a Derby. It's precisely the same word as in Britain, only in Germany it never means horses, because outside the Olympics no German who does not own a horse cares about horses. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:35, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Ohhh. I was confused because you said it meant a sports team, which I wrongly assumed was different. Sorry to "out-German" you, but there is a Deutsches Derby, which is a horse race. But then again, the fact that I know about that, despite not being a horsey person but living in a horsey country, kind of proves your point about Germans not giving two figs about the races :P
To my knowledge, in British English, any football (soccer) match between two teams from the same city is called a derby, regardless of whether or not the team is based in the UK. A.C. Milan vs Internazionale is called the Milan Derby (Derby della Madonnina in Italian). Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid is called the Madrid Derby (El Derbi madrileño in Spanish). Sometimes, you can even hear "British Derby" being used to refer to matches between two British national teams (eg. England vs Scotland). So I do think it could potentially be confusing for Americans travelling to Europe or South America where football is the "national religion". The dog2 (talk) 20:45, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
So from what I can gather, the consensus is that "clerk" can be left out. But given all the points here, what's the consensus regarding "derby"? The dog2 (talk) 20:33, 7 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Bumper cars/dodgems[edit]

Should this pairing be on the chart, for people going (or bringing their children to) amusement parks, or would they figure it out from context? The first time I saw the word "dodgems" in a Guardian crossword puzzle, I didn't even pronounce it right - it's a completely unknown word in the U.S., I think. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:43, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I would support that, as it's definitely travel-related. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:52, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Is that the thing Germans call "Autoscooter"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:57, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Lol, yes. Nearly anything would have been a better name though. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:28, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Better than which term? The British, the American or the German? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:09, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
"Autoscooter" is a funny one for me, because scooters are so flimsy. But on the other hand, the name of 'dodgems' completely misses the point of the ride in a way that 'bumper cars' just gets. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:30, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
"Dodgem" seems to be a very British term. Even in Singapore, we say "bumper car" instead of "dodgem", so that might be grounds for inclusion. The dog2 (talk) 15:36, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
What is the British word for what the Americans call "bumper boats", I wonder? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:40, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Sadly nothing different. The term bumper cars is also used. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:33, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Where other than Britain is "dodgems" used? Ireland, perhaps? Any other place? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:56, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Noo Zillund and Oz, at the very least. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:38, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That being said, at least when I was living there, "bumper car" was understood in Australia too. The dog2 (talk) 04:12, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Added. Please correct or otherwise edit at will. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:10, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Highway, motorway, et al.[edit]

I thought I had simplified this definition down to something more brief and easy to understand that was still a rough approximation of the truth. But if we're really going to split hairs like this, shouldn't this be a bullet-point list at the end of the section, rather than a listing on the table? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:41, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What about roads that are not a controlled access car only road, though? Like German Bundesstraßen or Route 66? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:44, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Call it a road. Everyone knows what that is ;-) ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:23, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
"I want to go coast to coast, but I don't want to use the Interstates, I like the feeling of non-highway roads better" How does one express a similar feeling in non-clumsy English or outside the US? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:36, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The equivalent sentence in Britain would involve the use of "A roads" and "B roads", and possibly "single-carriageways", "bypasses" and "trunk roads", which I really don't think we should talk about here. It's too much detail for this article. The point is, every country has its own terminology for different classes of road, but the vast majority of people don't care that much about what something's called as long as it gets them where they want to go. "Is it a road?", "Does it have tarmac?" and "What's the speed limit?" is the extent of most travellers' interest, especially in a foreign land. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Definitely highway/freeway/motorway etc. is of interest to travellers since it is often the fastest way to travel. For instance, in the U.S. and Australia, it is fairly common to ask "How do I get to the freeway?" when you are asking for driving directions. The dog2 (talk) 22:34, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's not in dispute. But beyond that, which is what was raised, the traveller can find out what they need to know from destination articles, or travel topics like Driving in Syldavia. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:36, 5 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Does the distinction between 'highway' and 'motorway' really flummox travellers? Again shouldn't we focus on areas that cause real confusion, rather than a laundry list of every word that could be different? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:21, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Has anyone tried asking for directions to the motorway in West Virginia? What was the result? I wouldn't know what the result would be. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:51, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
At least in South Australia, if you ask for directions to the nearest highway, people will either have no idea what you are asking about, or just point you to the main road. The dog2 (talk) 03:01, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
So let's keep this section, eh? It's better to provide a bit more information than necessary, rather than to risk not including information that may be very helpful in a pinch. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:05, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I wouldn't mind converting this entry to a bullet point list at the end of the section though. This actually gets quite complex. As mentioned in the the notes, "controlled-access highway" is the technical term that is internationally recognised, but virtually nobody says that outside a professional or academic context. In Australia, it does get a little complicated. South Australia uses both "freeway" and "expressway" (though freeway is the more commonly used term), Queensland uses "motorway", and so on. And in fact, in the U.S., another term I have seen (though never heard anyone actually say) that is not listed here is "parkway", and sometimes you may even hear the term "turnpike". The dog2 (talk) 03:19, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, but "parkway" and "turnpike" aren't generic words. A parkway has a strip of park in the center, and "turnpike" is a word for some toll roads (Massachusetts Turnpike, aka Mass Pike, and others in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the ones I can think of offhand). Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:12, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I've plunged forward and made the change since the naming situation regarding this type of road is particularly complicated. I can tell you that in Adelaide, people will be scratching their heads if you ask them how to get to the "highway" instead of "freeway". I know the phrasing is a little awkward, so please feel free to improve on it. Perhaps Ground Zero and Lcmortensen can help with the terminology for Canada and New Zealand respectively. The dog2 (talk) 19:03, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Done, for Canada, as requested. If "controlled-access highway" is "rarely if ever used in everyday speech", why do we need to mention it here? Ground Zero (talk) 21:02, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Because people may be curious which - if any - term experts in the field use at international conferences? I don't know... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:13, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I'm quite ambivalent as to whether to leave that in, but it might be worth considering that "controlled-access highway" is the title of the Wikiepdia article on the subject. The dog2 (talk) 22:19, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I would think that experts in the field of controlled access highways are a fairly small professional group, and they would be looking to sources other than Wikivoyage to prepare themselves for conferences. We can't be a resource for every potential group because then we lose the appeal of being a readable reference for the general reader. Let's stick to travel info, like the motorway/highway distinction, which is useful info for anyone travelling on roads. Ground Zero (talk) 23:32, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I am certainly not an expert in the field, but I can get really passionate about the excessive public money spent on cars-only roads, so there's that... And I will do so with British, American or any other kind of audiences if let loose. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:49, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Hi. In New Zealand, we call controlled-access highways either motorways or expressways - the difference between the two is not enough to bother - an expressway may have the odd at-grade intersection and property access, and they may allow walking and cycling. Freeway is not used at all - it's perceived as an Americanism. Highway is generally not used to prevent confusion with State Highway (the national road system).
I'm not a fan of the passage "The terms 'parkway' and 'turnpike' may also be used to refer to specific freeways." We can be a little more specific about "turnpike": it's a term used in reference only to toll highways. "Parkway" is a bit more of a head-scratcher: originally they were much as Ikan Kekek described them, with the strip of grass and trees in the middle, and that description remains applicable to most NYC-area parkways. However, reality diverges from theory elsewhere: off the top of my head, the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, the Penn-Lincoln Parkway in and around Pittsburgh, and all the roads in Kentucky with that moniker are some examples of "parkways" that are functionally indistinguishable from other types of controlled-access highways. Then there are some parkways that aren't controlled-access at all, like Buffalo's, which are merely exceptionally wide and well-landscaped city streets. I think maybe the best course of action would be to leave "parkway" off the list entirely. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:58, 7 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
We have parkways that are not limited access, too, such as Utopia Parkway in Queens, which if I remember correctly (it's been a while) is more like 2-way parts of Broadway, with a traffic island in the middle. There are also only somewhat limited access roads like Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:04, 7 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
If it's that ambiguous, I'm happy to leave it out. I just remembered some of the highways being called "parkways" when I was driving in and near New York City (eg. Garden State Parkway). And I recall seeing somewhere that in the U.S., "freeway" is specifically a toll-free highway but I'm not sure if that's accurate and if so, whether this distinction is important for travellers. I know that Australia doesn't make that distinction, so some of Melbourne's freeways do charge tolls despite being called freeways. The dog2 (talk) 14:26, 7 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
There are individual motorways and motorway-like roads that use the name "expressway" (e.g. the M6 Toll Midland Expressway, the A38 (M) Aston Expressway) and "parkway" (A57 Sheffield Parkway) in Britain. But that doesn't seem to impact much on everyday language, so explaining the differences (if there are any) for them here and in the States would only serve to over-complicate this article in a way that is off-topic. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:39, 7 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think that in the U.S., freeways by definition have to be non-toll highways. I don't think the distinction is important for travelers, though, because I think that states where "freeway" is the default word for "highway" (California is the one I'm really familiar with) don't ever charge tolls on roads so designated (though some bridges have tolls). -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:06, 8 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
There are some high occupancy toll lanes, though. No idea whether they exist on Freeways. To those unfamiliar with the concept, you can pay a toll or drive for free if the total number of people in your car exceeds a certain number (usually 1 but sometimes 2). On that note, are there carpool lanes in countries other than the US? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:53, 8 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

[unindent] Getting back to this for a second, I see this phrase in the article: "freeways where tolls are charged". That phrase is directly self-contradictory to my mind, to the point of being a bit surreal and mind-bending. Can we please instead say "highways where tolls are charged" or use some other word that doesn't include "free" in it? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:06, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Maybe an "expressway where tolls are charged", but a "highway" could be any main numbered road, even Route 66-style surface streets. K7L (talk) 13:33, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The free in "freeway" means "free of traffic signals", not "free" as in beer. (See w:Controlled-access highway.) Saying "freeways where tolls are charged" is perfectly sensible. --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:13, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
OK, but I think most people understand "freeway" as meaning no tolls are charged. Can you think of any highway that is routinely called a freeway and yet charges tolls? Give an example if you have one. Anyway, I think "controlled-access highway that charges tolls" is the most unambiguously clear phrase, so how about if we use that? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:34, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I altered it to "expressway where tolls are charged", which conveys the same information with uncontroversial wording. That's a lot simpler than debating what the "free" in "freeway" means, no? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:47, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Delete the whole section. The one line in the earlier table — 'divided highway' vs. 'dual carriageway' — is all we need. Pashley (talk) 17:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I think you may be confused as to the purpose of this article. No one actually uses those arcane technical terms in conversation, so if anything, it's the line in the table that ought to be deleted. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:44, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
There's nothing arcane, technical or uncommon about "dual carriageway". It's an everyday term. —The preceding comment was added by ThunderingTyphoons! (talkcontribs)
Perhaps in the Commonwealth, but in the U.S. "divided highway" is strictly transportation-geek terminology. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:08, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
And "dual carriageway" is definitely not an everyday term in the U.S. I think it's pretty geeky here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:16, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Which is fine, but since it's a UK term, I'm talking about the UK, where it is none of those things. That's why dual-carriageway is important to be listed as a UK term. Explaining differences in language is the whole point of this article! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:27, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
To be clear, the main thrust of my argument is in favor of retaining the section below the table, not deleting the line in the table. However, inclusion on the table rather implies that there are a pair of terms analogous to each other that split cleanly along U.S./Commonwealth lines. I would argue that "divided highway" and "dual carriageway" are not analogous to each other since the U.S. term is a technical one and the Commonwealth term sees colloquial usage. If "dual carriageway" has a place in this article, then, it's in the section below the table. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:32, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I'm sorry. If my above comment sounds like I'm pissed off, that's because I am. However, that is the fault of none of you, and you shouldn't have to put up with rudeness from me because of it. I apologise for that. Sure, move dual carriageway down below. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:09, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Don't worry, you didn't come across as angry or difficult, at least not to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:51, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]


This pairing can be useful, because plaice is great fish for fish & chips, and if Americans know it's flounder, they'll readily understand why. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:07, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

If we care at all about avoiding the devolution of this article into an overlong, unmanageable mess, then the criteria for inclusion of a particular pair of terms have to be more stringent than simply "a pair of synonyms split along U.S./Commonwealth lines that hypothetically have a more-than-zero chance of causing confusion to a traveller." Fish-and-chip aficionados of such a hardcore bent that they care to parse out the variety of fish used in the recipe represent a pretty tiny slice of our readership. As I said in my edit summary and in an earlier discussion on this talk page, I'd be more inclined to excise all entries about marginally popular foods (rutabaga/swede et al.) than to go the opposite direction. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:48, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I have to agree with Andre. If Americans are confused by "plaice" in a British fish restaurant, then they should do what I would do in a French fish restaurant when I wonder what, e.g. rouget or couteaux are - look it up online or ask someone. However, it would also be helpful to note the word "flounder" in our fish and chips section of UK#Eat. I will do just that in just a minute. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:39, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I obviously disagree somewhat with you guys, but I guess the level of confusion in not knowing what a particular fish is won't usually be problematic. However, let's please not delete "swede", because it's so odd to American ears to have a root vegetable named after a nationality that it's really worth explaining, even if we leave fish names off the charts. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:53, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I agree on excluding various names of fish. Fish can go by a lot of different names for largely marketing reasons, and these vary from place to place. (I'm sure I've seen a cool video that talks about this, but I can't think of what it was to dig up a link right now.) It's simply too much detail to cover in this article. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:58, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
In any case, fish and chips uses different types of fish depending on where you go. In Australia, the options for fish and chips would include stuff like barramundi or King George whiting, which someone from the UK will not be familiar with either. I think this is way too complicated for inclusion in this article. The dog2 (talk) 15:54, 1 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Definitely. Not even going into the fact that even different regions within the same country have different names for the same fish, or even the same name for different fish! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:54, 1 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Beigel / bagel[edit]

The "bagel" spelling is very widely used in the UK, for instance in this very widespread brand, in fact I would say that is the default spelling for most Brits not familiar with Jewish culture (which is, broadly speaking, most British people...) The "beigel" spelling is definitely used in the traditionally Jewish East End of London and in Hasidic neighbourhoods like Stamford Hill, but I can't say I've noticed it anywhere else. Since both are (AFAIK) pronounced the same, I have to ask whether this is really a comprehension issue. Would an American see the word "beigel" and think "What the hell is that thing?" If not, I suggest this could be removed. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:43, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. They sound similar enough. Twenty years ago many Brits were not familiar with beigels/bagels and it would have been worth explaining that they are doughnut shaped rolls, but nowadays every UK supermarket stocks them. AlasdairW (talk) 15:23, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree. I had never seen the "beigel" spelling before this page, and not knowing where it comes from, I would try to pronounce it like German: BYE-gul, not BAY-gul. If I were visiting the UK and saw that spelling, I would be wondering "What the hell is that thing?" --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:01, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
That's what I wanted to know. Thing is, you would be unlikely to see the spelling in the first place, unless you were in one of the places stated above. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:05, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Very well. A quick search shows that the only two pages on WV where that spelling is used besides this one are London/East End and Judaism, and in both of those the standard "bagel" spelling is shown for clarification. So in that case, I think we can declare that "beigel" is an uncommon alternative, and not necessary to include in this page. --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:42, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Right-oh. I'll wait a day or so for any more opinions, then remove it. By the way, you heard correctly about "valet". Funny how British spelling is often perceived as "more French" than American, when U.S. pronunciations of French words often stick closer to the original sound (I'm thinking of soufflé, garage, chauffeur...) —The preceding comment was added by ThunderingTyphoons! (talkcontribs)
That was bloody quick work, André! I should note that valet service where someone parks your car for you is very uncommon in the UK, but my (perhaps misinformed) understanding is it's fairly widespread for higher-paying venues in the U.S. so any Briton asking for a "vallit" should look no further than this article. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:22, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I think that a bigger issue is that in the UK "valet" is used to refer to a car cleaning service, eg [1]. The car parking sense of the word is hardly ever used here - people simply don't drive to the sort of city centre places that have valet parking in the US. AlasdairW (talk) 22:25, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If that's so, I think it should be mentioned in the article. As an American, when I hear "valet" with the "val-ey" pronunciation, I think of the car parking service, and when I hear it with the British "val-it" pronunciation, I think of the type of male personal servant (a meaning that I'm only familiar with from watching Downton Abbey). I had no idea it also meant a car cleaning service. —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:55, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I know that the term "valet" is also used in Singapore and Australia to refer to a car parking service, so it's not a term exclusive to US English. And speaking of "beigel", that is the word used in a very popular shop at London's Brick Lane, which is also visited by many tourists, so I think it should stay in some form. An American or Canadian tourist would most certainly not be familiar with that spelling, and may thus not realise that it is similar to the stuff they can get in New York City or Montreal.

Interestingly, Australian English also preserves a lot of the French pronunciation of words like "nougat", "entrée", "soufflé" and "crème brûlée", but when it comes to Spanish worlds like "paella" and "chorizo", they have no idea how to pronounce those. The dog2 (talk) 00:38, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

We're going to include a variant spelling because one shop uses it? It's not a different word. It sounds exactly the same. Is any North American shopping for bread rings in Brick Lane going to be confused by "beigel"? If there is a popular shop that sells peeta bread, do we have to include that too so that readers don't walk past and say, "I have no idea what peeta bread is, so I'd better not go unto that shop. Ground Zero (talk) 03:13, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. And as any curry fan knows, there is no standard for spelling the same dishes' names across different establishments. To anyone flummoxed by "beigel" when they're stood outside the beigel shops* on Brick Lane, I'd respectfully say "wise up". ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:37, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


This is ridiculous. Either we want to be a travel guide or we want to be a dictionary. Either we want to keep this article short, user-friendly, and travel-oriented or we don't. Let's make up our minds. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:33, 23 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Sorry for being ridiculous, or for supporting ridiculousness, but I assert that CV is perfectly relevant to travellers. Ridiculously yours, ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:55, 23 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
On a less ridiculous note, we could always split this guide into two: a beginners' guide that just covers basics / essentials for a brief trip across the pond in either direction, and an advanced guide that goes into the sort of detail present here. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:02, 23 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
People do travel for business, and an American businessman travelling to the UK might be asked by the British side to bring his "CV". And of course, there are many people who apply for jobs across the pond. The dog2 (talk) 23:48, 25 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Australian Spelling[edit]

I recently saw that someone made an edit about Australian spelling. Being someone who lived in Australia before, I'd say that Australia for the most part follows British spelling. There may be a few words for which Australia follows American spelling, but those are really exceptions and very limited. Even when it comes to vocabulary, for the most part, Australia used British vocabulary. There are instances where Australia uses American vocabulary, or has unique vocabulary that is different from British or American vocabulary, but it's for the most part closer to British than American. So I think the original version should stand, and we can make notes in the body of the article whenever there are exceptions to that rule. The dog2 (talk) 05:33, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I was skeptical of that as well. I'd say go ahead and revert. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:17, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Hiring a vehicle[edit]

Some explanation of American usage was just edited.

Previous version:

U.S. "to hire" is used only in the sense of "to employ", such as hiring a driver to drive the car.

Current version:

U.S. "to hire (a vehicle)" is used only in the sense of vehicles that come with a driver, such as taxis, limousines, etc.

As an American, I agree with the previous version and strongly disagree with the current one. Inanimate objects can't be "hired" in American English; you are hiring a chauffeur, but you are renting, booking or getting a limo, and you are absolutely not hiring a taxi (which you flag or call). If you really can hire a car in some corner of the U.S., you folks speak funny English! :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:32, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Y'all just need to learn my kind of English and then there'd be no problem! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:34, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't think you folks used "y'all". :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:35, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Darn it, foiled again. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:39, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Speaking of which, in Singapore, taxis that are not picking up passengers will display the sign "Not for hire". I wonder if that is unique to Singapore, or derived from British English. The dog2 (talk) 22:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The New York version is "Off Duty". Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:45, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
In Britain, black cabs that are picking up illuminate the 'taxi' sign on their roof; when they're not looking for passengers, the light is off. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:53, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

[unindent] So getting back to my main point, is everyone OK with my reverting to the previous version? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:53, 1 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Isn't the person who wrote that an American? If so, then it's a genuine use. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:56, 1 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
User:Bigpeteb, please give your input. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:02, 1 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
(Sorry, was completely offline yesterday.)
I'll point you to w:Vehicle for hire, and also to definition 2:
to engage the temporary use of at a set price; rent:
to hire a limousine.
To be sure, User:Ikan Kekek, you're right about the litany of other verbs Americans would likely use for a limo or a taxi. But using "hire" for a limo or taxi is certainly allowable and correct. A quick Google search for "hire limo" returns more results than "rent limo", and "hire taxi" returns more results more results than "call taxi". It's not exactly definitive proof, but perhaps enough to make the point. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:57, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
What does pointing to dictionary definitions or Google results prove about American usage? I can tell you that at least in New York, if you talk about "hiring" an inanimate object, people may look at you funny. We don't talk like that, and I never knew that you could "hire" anything but a person until I encountered British English. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:47, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Well then what are you looking for? I linked to an American dictionary definition which specifically includes an example showing that "hire" is used for limousines. I showed that my Google results, done from the West Coast of the U.S., give more results for "hire" in those searches, including several paid advertisements for "[my state] Limo Hire" and other local businesses whose websites tell me I can "hire a limo" right here in the U.S.
I'm unclear what your complaint or question is. Is "to hire (a vehicle)" valid American English? I think I've demonstrated that it is. Maybe there are regional preferences about what verb to use, but it's surely not wrong to use "hire" for limos and such. Do we need to include a note about the meaning of U.S. "to hire (a vehicle)" in this entry? I thought it was useful, but I'll agree that asking to "rent" a limo would be understood, so perhaps this note is superfluous. Do we need a note at all? Given that "to hire = to employ" is standard in all varieties of English, I don't think there's any value in keeping the previous version of the note; instead of reverting, just remove the note entirely, if that's what you want. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:29, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
How about In some parts of the U.S., people may look at you funny if you use "hire" to mean "rent"; in those parts of the country, "hire" is used only for employing people? There obviously is a strong regional difference. I'm pretty sure User:AndreCarrotflower, who's from Western New York, composed the text I call "previous version" above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:21, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I most certainly agree that "to hire" has the meaning "to employ" in all varieties of English. As for "hiring" a limousine or a taxi, I've yet to hear it being used in that context in the US, but then again, I'm not rich enough to hire a limousine, and I very rarely take taxis since Uber is cheaper. The dog2 (talk) 21:05, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I don't specifically remember writing the text Ikan ascribes to me, though I may very well have. If I'm being called upon to opine, though, mark me down in favor of a pretty strict U.S./Commonwealth divide in terminology, without much overlap. I consider myself fluent in most sub-dialects of North American English, and I don't think there's anywhere on the continent where "hire" in relation to cabs, limos, etc. is not considered strictly a Britishism. As Ikan said, cabs are "called" and limousines are "rented". In fact, even in terms of the word "charter", "to rent a charter bus" is a more common formulation than "to charter a bus" (though the latter is far from unknown and I don't think "charter" should be removed). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:10, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Anyway, this is probably rather complicated. In Singapore and Australia, you never "rent" a limousine. You always "hire", "book" or "reserve" a limousine. And likewise, you do not "rent" a taxi. You can "hire", "flag", "book" or "call" a taxi, but you do not "rent" one. And you only "rent" a bus if you are the one driving it. If someone else is being paid to drive the bus for you, then you "hire" or "reserve" the bus. The dog2 (talk) 21:19, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

(edit conflict) "Hiring a taxi" sounds strange to me, but "hiring a limo" doesn't. Maybe it's a West Coast thing? Honestly, though, I think this is unlikely to lead to a miscommunication for a traveller, so maybe we can leave it out or avoid going into detail. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:23, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Saying that you want to "hire" a taxi is actually very rare even in Singapore. It's just that off-duty taxis display the sign "Not for Hire", but other than that, it's virtually never used. Likewise, in Australia, it may not be wrong, but you almost never hear people using "hire" for a taxi. But you most certainly don't "rent" a taxi. Likewise, with a limousine, as with a bus or minivan, "renting" is only appropriate if you are going to be the one driving it. The dog2 (talk) 21:29, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Granger, I'm a lot less convinced than you that someone asking to "hire" something inanimate will be readily understood by all Americans. (Parenthetically, The dog2, it's the same in New York, and I think in the U.S., in that if you rent a cab or a bus, you are driving it.) -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:12, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Let's maybe take a step back. This entry is in the "By car" section, and every other entry in that section is clearly focused on driving yourself around. For that usage, the simple distinction between U.S. "rent (a rental car)" and UK "hire (a hire car)" is correct without any notes.
"By car" should also cover other road vehicles, but what does that leave? For taxis, it doesn't sound like the "rent/hire" distinction applies, since we're all agreeing that most people "call" or "flag" or "book" a taxi (as a passenger). For limos, party buses, etc., probably not many WV readers are obtaining these anyway, but the better question is, would you be misunderstood if you use the wrong word? It seems we largely agree that in the U.S., asking a local or searching the Internet for where to "rent" a limo would be understood perfectly (you want both a vehicle and a driver); none of us have said that it's incorrect or that it carries a different meaning. I guess The dog2 or someone else will have to clarify if "rent a limo" would also be understood that way in Australia, or whether it would confuse people and you must say you want to "hire" a limo if you want a driver included.
I know I sometimes contribute to this article's bloat, but this discussion is helping me see a different perspective for a change. We're not trying to teach readers every idiomatic or idiosyncratic way to sound exactly like a local; we're just trying to help travellers to be understood and to understand. If asking or searching for "rent a limo" will be understood, then there's no need to belabor the explanation any further, right? Or if we do keep this note, perhaps we refine it to clarify that U.S. "may also" use "hire" this way (and it sounds like also add that Australia "does" or "may" use it that way, too). --Bigpeteb (talk) 22:39, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:49, 2 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I agree about most of that. I've never heard people in Australia or Singapore say that they want to "rent" a limo. It's always "hire", "book", "reserve" or something similar, but then again, almost nobody gets a limo without a driver. But at least from my own understanding, if you tell me you want to "rent" a limo, what I will presume is that you will be the one driving it. The dog2 (talk) 00:41, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Like we said, not in the U.S. You can book or rent a limo here, and you're not expected to drive it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:00, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not disputing that. I'm just providing my understanding in the variety of English I first learnt. But anyway, it looks like this might be too complicated to go into too much detail. I will agree that in the context of getting a car to drive yourself around, rest of the entry is correct. The dog2 (talk) 01:11, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

County town / county seat[edit]

In the spirit of "post here before adding anything not directly travel related", I suggest the addition of county seat (U.S.) / county town (UK), where the meaning is "the administrative capital of a county". I would add these mainly because both terms pop up fairly frequently on this site, usually in one-liner listings for cities and towns in region articles. Any objections? ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:32, 3 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I don't see a great need for this, but if it is added, then it should probably also explain what a "county" is as not all English speaking countries have them (they were abolished in Scotland in 1975). AlasdairW (talk) 19:41, 3 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I might be wrong, but I doubt many English speakers are ignorant of what a county is. Even in Scotland, people must still refer to the likes of Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire, even if they are officially "abolished". We in Britain and Ireland have no trouble with the concept of a state, after all. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:58, 3 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If it's a term used on this site, I suppose it should be explained in this article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:09, 3 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Do we regularly translate territorial units outside the English speaking world as "county"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:18, 3 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
There's a Chinese administrative division (县, xiàn) whose standard translation is "county", which we use use in some of our articles. But it's explained in List of Chinese provinces and regions, and I don't think it's worth mentioning in this article. It seems Sweden also has counties – see Uppsala County. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I think we can write about those in the individual country articles. Every country is organised differently, so trying to explain what terms mean in every different country will make this too complicated. The dog2 (talk) 02:02, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I think that a paragraph on local government would make a welcome addition to the Politics or Government section of a country's "Understand". Visitors often make more use of local government facilities (museums, libraries, local roads, bus stops, toilets etc) than they do of national government facilities (trunk roads, defence, welfare etc). AlasdairW (talk) 15:32, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Unfortunately some countries are already a bloated monstrosity as the country-level articles become a place to dump everything but the kitchen sink. Using the country article to meticulously explain the difference between a municipal library, a county library, a union library and a consortium only adds to the bloat with limited benefit to travel. K7L (talk) 15:57, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
We're making this far more complicated than it needs to be. Let's remember what this article is supposed to be - it's called "English language varieties", and it deals with differences between two different dialect families of the English language as spoken in the U.S. and the countries of the British Commonwealth, respectively. If Sweden, China, or any other non-English-speaking country include units of local government that are translated into English as "counties" purely for the sake of expediency, that's irrelevant, so the question of how they refer to the cities that serve as the seats of government for said administrative subdivisions can be disregarded. According to Wikipedia, there are only five English-speaking countries that include places called "counties" - the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Jamaica - and the terms for "county seat" and "county town" split cleanly down the usual U.S./Commonwealth line, with the former two countries using the former term and the latter three using the latter term. Therefore, ThunderingTyphoons!' original proposal is sufficient. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:34, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
My mistake about "only five countries": Liberia also has counties, whose seats of government are called "capitals". Still, an addition to the "Notes" column of the table is perfectly compatible with TT's proposal. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:28, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Oh this wasn't as much about this article in particular as about other articles where the weird "county" might show up and whether/if/how to use it there. I think german counties ("Landkreise") work a bit differently. For example, the Landratsamat of Erlangen-Höchstadt isn't inside the county but in Erlangen, a city not belonging to any Landkreis. Don't ask me where the Kreistag meets, though. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:56, 6 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Main street / high street[edit]

This has just been deleted again. I think that is foolish; these are terms a traveller is likely to encounter & be confused by, exactly the sort of thing this article should cover.

Overall, I'd say this article is far too long & detailed, and should be trimmed by at least 40%. However, I do object to senseless cuts like this. Pashley (talk) 17:57, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Main street and high street should definitely be there. Why was it deleted? (By the way, I don't agree on any need to cut the article down, let alone by 40%.) Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:50, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that they need to be there as named streets. However in the UK "high street" is often used in a generic sense: "Many high street shops are struggling to compete with internet shopping" - this covers shops which are actually on King St (or even Main St in some Scottish towns). Is "main street" used in the same generic sense in the US? AlasdairW (talk) 20:46, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
"Main Street" can be used generically in the U.S., but it means something different. Wikipedia has this to say:
"In North American media of later decades, 'Main Street' represents the interests of everyday people and small business owners, in contrast with 'Wall Street' (in the United States) or 'Bay Street' (in Canada), symbolizing the interests of large national corporations. Thus, in the 1949 movie adaptation of On The Town, the song 'When You Walk Down Main Street With Me' refers to small-town values and social life. Main Street Republicans, for example, see themselves as supporting those values against urbane or 'Wall Street' tendencies.
Main Street was a popular term during the economic crises in 2008 and 2009: the proposed bailout of U.S. financial system, the 2008 US presidential campaign, and debates. One widely reviewed book was Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street (2012) by Neil Barofsky."
In other words, it's the American version of Merry England or La France profonde, with a connotation that generally has little or nothing to do with the actual business or retail districts of said small towns.
The U.S. equivalent to a Commonwealth phrase like "high street shops" would generally be something like "downtown shops" (or, in a statement like the above where the contrast is between traditional and e-commerce, something like "brick-and-mortar retail" would be used).
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:56, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The lead section of both w:Main Street and w:High Street does say that the terms are equivalent. The main/high street would appear to be not just any "brick-and-mortar retail"; it's the heart of the main local commercial district before the suburbs, the chain stores, the shopping malls and the big box stores commercially displaced the distinctive independent retailers already established in the city centre. I'm presuming that we're interested in the primary and literal meaning; it's possible to overload secondary meanings onto words (for instance, defining "Détroit" to mean "the U.S. automobile industry" instead of defining it to mean "a city in Michigan, near Windsor (Ontario)") but we'd want the primary definition first? K7L (talk) 02:45, 30 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Several weeks ago, a British expat showing me around a town in China pointed to one large street and said "This is the high street." Fortunately I knew this difference between British and American English—otherwise I wouldn't have understood what he meant. On the basis of that experience, I think the terms are worth including in this list. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:32, 30 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
We don't use either term in Singapore, but instead just refer to the street by its name, which in Singapore's case would be "Orchard Road". In Australia, "Main Street" is used as the actual name of the main commercial street in Mount Gambier, but I've never heard of either term being used in larger cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. Perhaps some of our Australian and New Zealander editors (@Inas:, @DaGizza:, @JarrahTree:, @Lcmortensen:) can confirm what the situation is. The dog2 (talk) 17:21, 31 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I think like that of the assumption of Orchard Street in Singapore, local contexts give a local name, not a generic one - I have live in in Sydney, Hobart, Perth, Darwin - never heard the main street term used. High street yes, but usually from people england. JarrahTree (talk) 00:13, 1 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I've never heard of main street in any of the eastern capital cities of Australia. I think most Australians will be familiar with "Wall Street" only because of New York City. Gizza (roam) 12:38, 1 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
In my country, this is Orchard Road
The use of a main street named "Main Street" is common in small towns in Canada and the U.S. for what is the "high street" elsewhere, as is the generic "main street businesses" terminology for "high street shops". Wall Street is NYC-specific; it's one specific city's financial district, not a generic term for everytown. K7L (talk) 19:12, 1 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────What I meant to say is that there are some places where a generic term for that type of street does not exist, and locals just refer to the street by its name. In Singapore, nobody will have any idea what you are looking for if you ask for the "high street" or "main street". If you are looking for the financial centre, then you ask for "Shenton Way", and if you want to do shopping, you ask for "Orchard Road". We do use the term "high street" only in "high street fashion" when talking about very expensive fashion brands, but nobody ever calls Orchard Road the "high street" or "main street". The dog2 (talk) 15:40, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Interestingly, while hunting for photos for articles without them I just ran into this file. The photo is apparently taken by an Australian contributor, and both the in file name and the description (all lower caps) they call this the main street. Maybe the name is used in the state of Victoria but nowhere else in Australia?. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:03, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I would not read too much into that, as looking at the map of Rutherglen (Victoria), there is a Main Street where the shops are, (which is crossed by High Street). AlasdairW (talk) 20:51, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

BC / BCE, AD / CE[edit]

I am inclined to say that stuff is out of scope. Both systems are used in the UK and US, so unless there are English-speaking countries where the common era system is unknown, I fail to see the potential for confusion. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:47, 24 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Agreed, these differences in terminology have nothing to do with geography. Clearly out of scope and reverted on that basis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:56, 24 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
When I was in school in Singapore, I learnt the BC/AD terminology in history class, and I only came across BCE/CE after moving to the US. It might just be a difference due to the passage of time, and while it did not confuse me, I'm not sure how confusing it would be for someone raised on BCE/CE to be confused by BC/AD and vice-versa. The dog2 (talk) 16:30, 24 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]


While I understand that this word does not come up that often in everyday conversation, tourists are quite likely to come across this when they tour government buildings. For instance, the legislatures of the different U.S. and Australian states, as well as the Canadian provinces are open for public tours, and you will often hear the position "lieutenant governor" when you tour these buildings, and likewise, the military rank is fairly likely to come up when you visit war memorials. I do think that knowing the differences in pronunciation is useful for say, an American touring a war memorial in Canada, or an Australian visiting some military museum in the U.S. What do you think? The dog2 (talk) 18:50, 7 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

You make a case for inclusion, but it's still a pretty marginal word, and I imagine that most travellers who will come across the word already have an interest in military history etc, so may already be familiar with the difference. At the end of the day, including it isn't going to add a load of unnecessary clutter, and there's always a chance it will be of use to someone, so I'm not going to oppose this.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:51, 7 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
As an American, it was only very recently that I learned that "leff-TEN-ant" was the standard Commonwealth English pronunciation of the word. I'd heard people speak it that way in the past and simply assumed they were mispronouncing the word. In no case was I ever confused as to what was meant. I'd imagine a Commonwealth English speaker hearing the American pronunciation would react similarly. That combined with the fact that it's a marginal word, as TT mentioned above, makes me come down on the side of not including it in the article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:12, 7 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"Shopping carriage"[edit]

How common is this in New York City? I've never called it or heard other New Yorkers call it anything but a "shopping cart". For the record, I grew up on the Upper West Side, and my parents were from Brooklyn. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:10, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

This matches my experience. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 16:08, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Edited accordingly, but just how common is "shopping carriage" in "southern New England", which I guess would be Connecticut and Rhode Island? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:25, 19 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]


The table comparison implies shrimp is American, while prawn is British. But as the notes say, prawn and shrimp are different things in BrE. Does AmE use the word prawn at all? Is it interchangeable with shrimp? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:15, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"Prawns" is understood to be a Britishism in the U.S., and I doubt most of us grok the distinction between "prawns" and "shrimp" that Commonwealth English draws. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:10, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
"Prawn" is never used in American, and AFAIK "shrimp" is never used in some Commonwealth countries like Australia. However I believe that specifically in the UK, they use both depending on size. We might want to rephrase this entry depending on whether we consider "only 'prawn'" to be the standard Commonwealth usage (with "both depending on size" being the exception), or "both depending on size" to be the standard Commonwealth usage (with Australia's "only 'prawn'" being the exception). --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:16, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
When I watched "District 9" (set in South Africa but with mostly Boer protagonists) I took a really long time why they use "prawn" as a racial slur to refer to the Aliens justifying it with "this is how they look". The word "shrimp" at any rate has entered the German lexicon. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:25, 18 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I was introduced to the word "prawn" for the first time on menus in Malaysia, a former British colony, but people on food discussions boards who are Americans claim that prawns are bigger, so at least someone uses it here. It sure isn't that common, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:23, 19 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
In Singapore, we also use both "shrimp" and "prawn", with the two being distinguished by size. The dog2 (talk) 21:03, 29 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Updated accordingly, thanks for everyone's input. The whole "AmE doesn't distinguish between the two" thing makes no sense if "prawn" isn't really used by Americans.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:06, 29 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"Theatre" in the U.S.[edit]

It's used for more than just proper nouns. I would say theatre and theater are used interchangeably in New York, for example. I think it's probably best to exclude this pair when illustrating differences between varieties of English, because the usage comparison is so muddled, and it won't confuse anyone to just use the British spelling everywhere, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:06, 6 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. The other three examples are adequate, we don't need to include this one where usage is unusually complicated. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:47, 7 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. Anyone want to argue strenuously for keeping the pairing? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:26, 7 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Both used in Canada & as Ikan says pretty much interchangeably. Pashley (talk) 12:21, 7 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I've removed the pairing. Thanks for your input. I didn't realize both spellings were used in Canada. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:54, 7 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Parking lot, parking garage, car park, etc.[edit]

I wonder if we should just merge these two rows into one. At least in Singapore, in casual speech, we rarely say "multi-storey car park". You will sometimes see the term on directional signs, but in general we do not make the distinction between open air and multi-storey car parks unless there is a necessity. We just say that we are looking for the "car park". It is not like in the U.S., where people draw a sharp distinction between a "parking lot" and "parking garage" in casual speech, and there is no generic term covering both. The dog2 (talk) 23:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

We are not an encyclopedia. Most of us are not qualified to be writing a treatise on linguistics & those who are probably would not do it here. This article therefore should only cover things that may actually pose a problem for travellers — e.g. does your car need 'gas' or 'petrol' — and/or are amusing — e.g. American 'speed bump' and British 'sleeping policeman'.
I'd say just delete all of these. Pashley (talk) 13:07, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
How about just clarifying the situation in Singapore if necessary and being done with it? That's the path of least resistance. And I do think that the various words and expressions for places to park are different enough that they could cause confusion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
That also works. And just to be clear on this, people will absolutely understand you if you say "multi-storey car park". It's just that we don't make the distinction between open air and multi-storey car parks unless there is a necessity. We just say "car park" regardless of which type it is. And from my experience in Australia, it was pretty much the same situation. You just say, "I'm going to the car park." regardless of which type it is. I don't know if anyone can fill me in on what it's like in the UK.
My concern is that with the way this is listed now, people may think that the term "car park" on its own only refers to open air spaces, but that is not accurate. A "car park" can either be open air or enclosed, and unless the person specifies which type it is, you have no way of telling which one the person is referring to. The dog2 (talk) 15:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
This seems very simple to me. We can just put "multi-storey" in parentheses and stop talking about this, since the extra words won't cause confusion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:07, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
OK, that works. The dog2 (talk) 18:21, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Done. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:23, 12 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Four seasons[edit]

I believe in the US and UK English, seasons are defined slightly differently. For instance in the US, a season begins roughly on the equinox or solstice point (or the 21st) whereas in the UK, it begins on the 1st of the month of an equinox or solstice. --2A02:C7D:88D:4700:816C:4BD2:5F62:350D 11:52, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

My mother (English through and through) wouldn't agree with you there. She would say the season starts on the 21st. Personally, I prefer to go by the actual conditions outside. As that's three different views of "what the British think", I'm not sure we have anything much to state in the article. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:30, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I think that people in the UK rarely think of seasons as having a precise start and end date, unless these are spelled out by whoever is saying it - "the cafe is open until 8pm in summer (15 May - 31 August)". Venue opening times often only have two seasons. AlasdairW (talk) 18:56, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Hoot for honk?[edit]

See this edit. Is "hoot" British for "honk"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:00, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. Geese "honk" and so do vehicles, but the latter can also "beep", "hoot" or "toot".--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:26, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. I feel like we used to have this here, but it was deemed unnecessary because it's not hard to understand all the words, which is true. We use "beep" in the U.S., too, and geese honk, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:35, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
They're all onomatopoeic, so yeah I'd probably agree with not listing it here.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:46, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I remember reading that Indian English also uses "tootle" for this, but the only use of that I can find now is a reference to a poor Japanese to English translation. But agreed, it's easy enough to understand these words without a guide. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:47, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Really? :-) I'm off to tootle (wander) around the neighbourhood now.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:50, 9 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Sealed roads[edit]

I know this wasn't a particularly constructive edit, but since "sealed road" is not used in the UK and I have no idea where it is used, there was nothing else I could do. As to what we do say, "paved road" or "tarmac road" spring to mind, but even they are not used much because unpaved roads are not really a thing in Britain. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:05, 6 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Interesting. There are no dirt or gravel roads in remote countryside anywhere? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:40, 6 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]
There are no dirt of gravel public roads in the UK. There are untarred private roads and tracks. The climate in the UK means that any road used by more than about 1 car per hour needs to be tarmac (or cobbles etc) if it is not going to be eroded and washed away. Unsealed public carparks used to be common, but now there are few. AlasdairW (talk) 14:02, 7 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]
If dirt roads can exist in tropical countries, they can exist in relatively dry Europe. On a different note, I am pretty sure the adjectives "unpaved" and "unsealed" are more common than the positive forms. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:34, 7 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]

A short list[edit]

12 Words With Very Different Meanings in the U.S. and the UK Pashley (talk) 12:20, 26 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I'm nonplussed by the idea that "nonplussed" is no longer a useful word in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:24, 27 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Drink/drunk driving in Australian English[edit]

I don't understand what this sentence means: "In Australia, it drunk driving is used for past tense, but drink driving is used for present and future tense". Is the point that the term used varies based on the tense of the nearest verb, or the main verb of the sentence? Or some other factor? Could one of our Australian editors please clarify? —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:25, 6 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Here's some examples that we use.

He was gone drunk driving, and ended up losing three demerit points

and here's another one:

Don't go drink driving, and anyone who does tonight will lose 6 demerit points

There are just some examples, and hopefully it should help. But in either way, if you say the wrong word, we'll still understand it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:02, 6 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. I'll try to clarify the article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:18, 7 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Australian Labor Party[edit]

I don't want to engage in an edit war, so I'm taking the time to post about this. Do we really think it's important in an article that focuses on differences between varieties of English that might confuse travellers for us to mention the spelling of a political party? I certainly don't. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:41, 2 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Doesn't seem important on the face of it, but it'd be worth knowing why SHB thinks it is.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:54, 2 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The spelling matters so much that just writing "Labor" (even as a spelling error) with no context means the political party. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:15, 2 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
In that case, the context would be "Labor without a U has only one meaning in Australia: the name of a political party". I'm still unconvinced it bears mentioning, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:17, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I mean, we have a Centre Street in Manhattan and a Centre Avenue in New Rochelle, NY. We're certainly not going to mention that in the article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:19, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well..... it's called "Labour party" in the UK, so in my opinion, it does need a mention that its different. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:20, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This isn't Wikipolitics, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:28, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Another thing that interests travellers is Labor party ads all over the place. With Centre St and Ave, they're just on a single street, not nationwide. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:40, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Point taken. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:46, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
But again, thinking about it, the elections only happen thrice every four years. Yeah, I'm not sure whether to keep it or not either. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 07:02, 3 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I restored it since elections council are coming soon, and I've started to see some labor party ads. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 07:09, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Ikan. This is useless trivia in a travel guide & should be removed. Pashley (talk) 09:13, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Not useless (that differ's based on personal opinions). It has certainly interested my family in the US around election time, and has made them wonder. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:19, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the spelling of a political party is important enough for most travelers to merit inclusion in this article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:34, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
On Victor Harbor, we have a note about the spelling, which often which travellers are curious about. Well, you can always argue that "what good does the spelling of a political party matter", well, as I said, at election time, it does and that's because of the ads. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:44, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Do these ads have a slogan like "labor will fix labour"? Otherwise I think that it always be clear from the context what is being talked about. As spoken conversation always has to make it clear, I doubt written communication will be confusing. Please provide an actual printed example of where it would be confusing.
I think it would be ok to have a note on the spelling in Australia#Politics. AlasdairW (talk) 11:39, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, so it seems like I've convinced no one but Ikan here. I know that you'd be saying "this is not Wikipedia". I get that, and I also try my best and am quite firm into keeping this not an encyclopedia. If it weren't for the ads which the spelling interest travellers during election time, then I would have gladly removed it, but it seems that no one is taking my point (apart from AladairW and IK.). To Aladair's question, we don't get those ads, but the spelling is quite internationally known to the point where I noticed in w:Template:Australian English, where it discretely mentions about the political party. Could @Ground Zero: comment on this? --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 00:48, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The article does cover a lot of exceptions to the U.S./UK differences, proving that English spelling is non-binary, but they fall under our travel headings -- see, do, buy, eat, drink.... While the Labor Party of Australia is a great big exception to the general rule of Australian spelling, maybe it would be better to address this in Australia#Politics. It doesn't seem to fit well in this article. Ground Zero (talk) 01:07, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Brew (noun)[edit]

In UK English, if you offer someone "a brew", you're offering a cup of tea, but I assume in many (all?) other varieties of English, this would be taken to mean an alcoholic drink, most likely beer. Certainly Merriam Webster seems to agree. Is the noun brew worth adding to 'Same word, different meanings'? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:52, 31 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, "brew" as a noun means beer in my experience in the U.S., definitely not by default tea. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:20, 31 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Brew means beer in Australia, and not tea. Could be added here. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:59, 31 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Have a fourth and fifth column for Canadian and Australian use[edit]

Given that this article is still quite unclear on what the minority en-CA and en-AU uses, thought it might be useful to include another couple of columns for Canadian and Australian spelling. Here's what an example would look like.

American British Australia Canada Comment
check cheque UK UK As a form of payment
The verb "to check" and its related noun are always spelled "check".
curb kerb US (kerb is the official spelling, although it is never used) US As the raised edge of a street
The verb "to curb" (as in "to restrain") and its related noun are always spelled "curb".
draft draught / draft US Both UK retains separate words (with multiple meanings for each); U.S. simplifies both to "draft".
jewelry jewellery UK US
program programme US US UK uses "program" only in the context of a "computer program". Australia and Canada use the word "program" to refer to TV or radio shows.
story storey UK UK As a floor or level of a building
"Story" as in "tale" or "sequence of events" always lacks an "E".
tire tyre UK US As a ring of rubber around a wheel
The verb "to tire" is always spelled with an "I".
ton tonne UK UK As the metric unit of weight, equivalent to 1,000 kg.
The imperial ton and U.S. ton (see Weights and measures below) are always spelled "ton".
whiskey whisky UK UK The U.S. and Ireland (including Northern Ireland) usually use the spelling "whiskey", while other countries use "whisky", but this is not universal; at least a few American distilleries call their product "whisky".

Given that there's not much guidance on Australian and Canadian spelling, I thought something like this would help. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:34, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Not a bad idea, and it probably looks fine on desktop, but that demo looks absolutely awful on mobile: the notes column is barely legible, and you have to scroll right and left to read an entire row. Five columns is too many, unfortunately. I reckon an increasingly large majority of users access Wikivoyage through mobile, particularly when travelling, and though the interface is already bad through no fault of our own, we can do our best not to make this site any more mobile-unfriendly.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:03, 11 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

"Tie" and "draw"[edit]

Is this really a confusing difference between varieties of English? "Draw" is certainly used in the U.S. Is "tie" never used in some English-speaking land? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:05, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Rarely heard it in Australia except when it comes to soccer but even then, it's often the FIFA that uses "draw". SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:31, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
"Draw" is more common in Singapore, but people will also understand you if you use "tie". The dog2 (talk) 03:10, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think the reason for tie in Australia is probably because in AFL, it's always tiebreaker, hence why it's used even in Adelaide. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:22, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Edit notice[edit]

I've put an edit notice up, similar to the Presidents of the United States article. Feel free to modify and copyedit it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:54, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Where did you put it? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:00, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
See MediaWiki:Editnotice-0-English language varieties. Basically moved a note that was openly there to contributors and added the edit notice so it doesn't look awkward when printing it out. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:11, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Is the idea to put it in the article? If so, my only issue with it is that I feel like it's too large and bolded, so it feels more heavyhanded than I prefer, but others may differ. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:13, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I've used the same format as Presidents of the United States. And to "Is the idea to put it in the article", you won't see it while reading but if you're using the source editor, then you'll see it at the top of the article. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:16, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, I see. That's a good practice. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:29, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

US terminology in Australia[edit]

Currently, the point on Australian terminology says the following:

  • Australian spelling mostly follows British conventions, with some American influences, though to a lesser extent than Canada. Vocabulary-wise, usage defers by region; Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria primarily follow American vocabulary choices, while the rest of the country primarily follows British vocabulary choices with American influences. However, any American term is understood, nationwide, although that is not always the case for British terminology.

However, this obviously, was written well before I had some info on what Western Australia uses, but I asked a friend who has lived in Perth before, and they mentioned they mostly use the terminology used on the east coast and nothing different (although Perth is not a heavily American influenced city as Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, but still Perth is heavily influenced by Sydney though hence why). Given this, it makes more than 80% of the entire nation mostly follow US terminology with South Australia being the only mainland state to be a little conservative. I'm not sure about Tassie though, but given that it's somewhat an extension of Victoria onto an island, I don't think there'll be anything different from Victoria. I'm wondering if it should be re-written to something like this

  • Australia mostly follows British spelling, although a decent amount of words are spelled the American way, though to a lesser extent than Canada. Vocabulary usage defers by region, although most of the country has a preference for US terminology given the country's high American influence. One large exception though, is South Australia where generally British terminology is used more. Except for some terminology like "tram" or "faucet" where the British terminology is used nationwide, apart from that, wherever you are, nearly everyone, including in South Australia will understand American terminology. However, the same does not apply vice versa, and a lot of British terminology is never heard of in the eastern states.

Does that read good? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:56, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • I think "faucet" is American; "tap" is British and Canadian, although "faucet" is becoming more common here because most of our taps are imported from the US and labelled as faucets.
"Vocabulary-wise, usage defers by region" -- I think you mean "differs", and wouldn't it be simpler to say "Vocabulary differs by region"? Ground Zero (talk) 14:28, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Fixed. I should also say that faucet is also becoming more and more popular in Australia as well, but it's not as popular as Canada since Australians don't like saying long words. (except South Australia) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 21:16, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ground Zero: Yes Replaced. Yeah I meant "differs", not "defers". Thanks for picking that up :-) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 01:17, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Tomato sauce in Australia?[edit]

I'd dispute that statement. I always use ketchup, I've heard ketchup being used more than tomato sauce which I've rarely heard (which imo, seems a very outdated term). It could be different in Adelaide though, but I thought ketchup became integrated into slang, but any opposition to removing Australia from ""Tomato sauce" is more common in Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. Wales, Scotland, and parts of England may use "red sauce"."? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:42, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Looking at a New Zealand supermarket online, I see both Wattie's Tomato Sauce and Heinz Tomato Ketchup although there are more sauces than ketchups. Australian Woolworths sell both, including Masterfoods Aussie Farmers Tomato Sauce and the massive Woolworths Tomato Sauce 2l.
Seeing "red sauce" makes me think that we should also mention "brown sauce" (HP etc). If you ask for sauce with your cooked breakfast, the reply may be "would you like red or brown?". AlasdairW (talk) 21:17, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]