Two great nations separated by a common language 

I was confidently going to attribute my title to Winston Churchill.  But in checking I had his words exactly right, I find that Google says it may originated from two other great Irish masters of the English language, Oscar Wilde or George Bernard Shaw.  Perhaps Winnie said it under his breathe in WWII.

A commonly known fact is the American dislike of using “U” in the words we have taken from the French and retained that element of Latin beauty.  Checks are still in regular use.  I may be different, but I use about one cheque in 3 months or muns as a Southerner would say.

Americans retain some more colourful “old English” language in the formal proceedings of Congress and the Courts, where the phraseology we have long since dropped still holds sway.

In the South the area which I visit more often, tea is sweet and accents are sweeter, summer starts in April, macaroni and cheese is a vegetable, front porches are wide and words are long, pecan pie is a staple, “Y’all” is the only proper noun, chicken is fried and comes with gravy, everything is “darling” and some ones heart is always being “blessed”!

The area is also rich in idioms.  Strangely some are identical to ours, such as ‘till the cows come home” and “hold your horses” and “too big for his britches”  But others defy all logic, “if I had my druthers” and “funny as all get out” and “heavens to Betsy”.  But “hush your mouth” is so much nicer than “shut up

Then “can’t never could” strikes me as close to what always gets me and that is their use of two modal verbs together.  Such as I “might would” or even “would could”.  And the double negative is normal.

Some words have differing meanings and we are all pretty familiar with some of them; such as if we walk on the pavement in the US we had better move to the sidewalk as soon as possible, as the pavement is, in fact, the roadway.  And cars have their hoods at the front and trunks at the back.

But other words may not be so familiar, sailors may be confused that cleats in the US are worn on the feet to play baseball.

Gardeners may also be at sea in finding that dirt is soil and that the grass turf is a sod and both are in the yard of course.  And strangely the gardener wears hose on his or her legs whilst wielding a weed-eater or strimmer to us.

Around the home, you cut off the light and mash the button on the dish washer.  And a bathroom usually has 4 faucets and a tub.  “Put up” is not an invitation for fisticuffs, but to store the shopping in the kitchen cupboards.

In some cases the American expands the letters needed to convey an idea.  Family Doctor for GP and Refuse collector for the bin men, who take away the trash

For a country with very few domestic servants, many people leave the service, but that refers to leaving the military.

If you are ugly to someone it is not self deprecation, but just that you told the person very frankly what you felt.

Visitations are always to the dead, who never even notice that you have come.

And of course, we all know that mail is post and line is queue, which Americans enjoy more than we do, as they do it whenever possible.

Then finally there is up throwing, which I will not explain further.