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  1. #101
    SitePoint Wizard holmescreek's Avatar
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    Smile

    If your in the UK just say "Brilliant" in every other sentence. In the U.S. just say "Get Er' Done" in every other sentence...except when your in "those three northern states" like "BoRstone"

    Really, though, English in the U.S. is all about slang.

    Some difference that I have noticed :

    U.S. / UK
    TV = Tele
    Cell = Mobile (as in a cellular phone)
    Wicked / Cool = Brilliant
    **** = Shag

    It's almost like in the U.S. when someone says "Junkie" it means someone specifically on heroin. But, like in the Netherlands, "junkie" means anyone on drugs, alcohol or sugar etc, that just consumes "too much"

    You get the idea.
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug C. View Post
    I wonder if UK words such as colour and cheque actually have a French etymology.
    I wonder the same the same thing specially about the word "colour"

  3. #103
    SitePoint Member wizely's Avatar
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    I always love to see this debate rage - it's hilarious! About 90% of spellings and word usage are the same between all flavours/flavors of English. I always chuckle to myself when I see someone put this argument forward:
    "American English is phonetic"
    I love the irony of that, especially if they're from Philadelphia talking on the telephone!!!!

  4. #104
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmescreek View Post
    If your in the UK just say "Brilliant" in every other sentence. In the U.S. just say "Get Er' Done" in every other sentence...except when your in "those three northern states" like "BoRstone"

    Really, though, English in the U.S. is all about slang.

    Some difference that I have noticed :

    U.S. / UK
    TV = Tele
    Cell = Mobile (as in a cellular phone)
    Wicked / Cool = Brilliant
    **** = Shag

    It's almost like in the U.S. when someone says "Junkie" it means someone specifically on heroin. But, like in the Netherlands, "junkie" means anyone on drugs, alcohol or sugar etc, that just consumes "too much"

    You get the idea.
    Not many differences there. In fact the only one that isn't used in the UK is "Cell". The TV, wicked, cool and what I suspect the four stars are covering are all in regular usage. In fact I've used one of 'em at least 10 times this morning :P

    Another spelling difference I noticed hasn't been metioned is "Defence/Defense". A good argument for US English spellings differing by time of adoption rather than poor spelling that one, as it comes from the Latin "defensum".

    ....although in the sentance above alone that would mean we should also be seeing "differens" and "notised". I think we should all just learn Esperanto!
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  5. #105
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    that is good


    thanks

  6. #106
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by set21
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug C.
    I wonder if UK words such as colour and cheque actually have a French etymology.
    I wonder the same the same thing specially about the word "colour"
    YES.

    The Normal Invasion screwed English pretty bad (though funny, they were the Viking-ish French and not the French-French but whatever).

    I get suspicious of French influence with any word with extra letters running around. Seriously, queueueueueue could just be Q and everyone could understand... but no, let's add letters cause it's fun!! Lawlz. Sometimes people added letters to words just to make it look Frencher-- comptroller (controller) is a good one. When French was the style in Jolly Old England, the spelling was set so. When English came back into fashion, some spellings changed and others didn't.

    If anyone would like to read a decent book about the subject of why trying to spell English sucks hard and royal, I suggest "Eyes before Ease" by Larry Beason. I knew about the French, and I knew about the Great Vowel Shift, but this book fleshed it out more. However, I don't believe he gives enough credit to Dutch (which seems to have stronger ties to English than German does, I'll add-- I had a language instructor in school once who said Old English was (old) Frisian's most closely related language, with Dutch being the next close to English).

    All those silent letters like in night, brought, fight? The Dutch still even say them: nacht, bracht, vecht. You can find answer to all sorts of Germanic-based English words just by looking at Dutch: freight, what a strange word, but it's just another form of "vracht" (or, vracht is a form of freight-- both languages have developed since Old English and Low German). Dutch phrases are likely why you can walk up the street (op straat) or why you can ring/call someone up (bel [someone] op) instead of the more sensible "along the street" or "call someone" since you're not going anywhere vertically. How about a muggy day? It's humid and filled with little bugs and gnats and mosquitos-- "muggen" : )

    According to the Eyes Before Ease book, the double letters to set who's a short vowel is attributed to some particular guy, but that doesn't make sense since that's also a Dutch rule-- unless he was merely reviving the rule. There's "ramen" (one M makes the "a" long, so the word (pl. of raam) means "windows") and "rammen" (two m's make the "a" short, so the word (pl. of ram) means "rams"). But anyway, this rule makes "channel" have two n's etc (and partially explains the difference between "travelling" and traveling"-- sometimes the rule gets picked up and sometimes not-- buses, busses, it's all good). Not all words caught the rule, but that's the way English rolls I guess. Lots of people, including Webster, tried to "standardise" spelling and they only got their way on some words and not others-- making things suck for everyone trying to spell. Heh, Teddy Roosevelt tried to as well-- almost counts as a Dutch influence, ja? lol

    As for websites-- I'm wracking my brain over this one. We have an English version of a home rental site-- so far, British. But later, the boss would like to encompass the Americans. What then? Right now, instead of "Huur een vakantiehuis... verhuur een vakantiehuis" the Brits get "Hire a holiday house... let a holiday house."

    But I know Americans would be like, "Let a holiday house do what???" and actually I still don't know how to say the difference between renting and renting out in American English. Rent a holiday home, rent out a holiday home??? Sheesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizely
    I always love to see this debate rage - it's hilarious! About 90% of spellings and word usage are the same between all flavours/flavors of English. I always chuckle to myself when I see someone put this argument forward:
    "American English is phonetic"
    I love the irony of that, especially if they're from Philadelphia talking on the telephone!!!!
    It's partially "alphabetic" (meaning, each sound should have a letter to go with it) and partially "morphemic" (meaning the spelling can refer to the word's origin).

    So, the example I remember is "soften" which many people (if not most?) don't say soften but the t stays because it's part of the root word "soft". So, while I'm still searching for the origin of the ph=f thing (I'm blaming the Germans but not sure, but it's NOT the Greeks), a lot of spelling discrepancies come from the writers keeping the root language's rules.

  7. #107
    SitePoint Addict ameRie's Avatar
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    UK English is different from US English somehow.. because they have different pronunciation. I write articles for my Australian customers, also in US customers.

    Zs in US english normally become Ss in UK english. IMO

  8. #108
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    YES.

    But I know Americans would be like, "Let a holiday house do what???" and actually I still don't know how to say the difference between renting and renting out in American English. Rent a holiday home, rent out a holiday home??? Sheesh.
    Vacation apartment rentals?
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  9. #109
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    No, it's both ways-- you can rent a vacation home, OR, you might be the owner of a home and want to rent it out.

    So, I think I have to say rent and rent out. And certainly not "hire" either.

  10. #110
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    I doubt many English speakers care whether you use an American or British dialect. Problems arise not from differences in spelling but of wording (and punctuation). Many Americans would chuckle or become enraged if they heard a European say he smoked a fag and both would chuckle if they seen a sign that said "This is Russia, you are welcome to it". If you avoid idioms and words with different meanings, you will avoid most communication problems. Also, people learning English as a second language will have less trouble understanding you, which will greatly benefit you in terms of user interaction if you write about religion or culture.

    (The rest of this post contains no advice, just my thoughts on English in general.)

    My writing style doesn't conform to any particular dialect or standard. I favor simplicity and I think of language as a tool of people rather than people as tools of language. People should not mindlessly conform to rules of language. There are no rules, merely conventions. If your audience will understand your use of language, use language as you desire to use it. When it comes to language, I think: no harm, no foul. This approach, combined with my favoring of simplicity, has resulted in a curious blend of American and British English.

    When their spellings differ, I generally prefer the American spellings since they generally have fewer letters to write or type. I would rather write "colored catalogs" than "coloured catalogues" and "bank checks" over "banque cheques". Sometimes I prefer longer spellings from both varieties though, since they keep the language noticeably more consistent. I prefer the American enrollment and skillful over the British enrolment and skilful since it's more consistent to keep the Ls from the morphemes roll and skill; similarly, I favor the British ageing, arguement, and judgement since they keep the Es from the morphemes age, argue, and judge. The British should be smote for their centres, metres, and theatres, though.

    I like the punctuation of both varieties except one major problem in each. The American style of placing periods inside quotation marks leads to obfuscation and deception. Young Earth Creationists routinely quote evolutionists out of context because of this. The author might continue his sentence and rebut the statement but the quote makes it easier for people to think the author said nothing more. Mind you, I don't think most YECs intend to quote them incorrectly. I simply think the American punctuation system has contributed to the problem. Only quoted material should be found in quotation marks—if there isn't a period, don't quote it; if there isn't a comma, don't quote it. British English annoys me in how it omits the comma that separates the last two items in a list. When I read sentences with lists of three items and I'm not aware the author is British, I begin interpreting the sentence as though it contained a clause and then have to start over when I realize, by the abruptly-appearing period, it was a list—every freaking time.

    As for date formats, I use my own. From left to right: year, month, day, hour, minute, second. As you move to the right, you get more specific. You can drop the seconds, the minutes and seconds, the hours and minutes and seconds, and so forth to make the date more vague, meaning you can be partly vague if you desire. All numbers should be two-digit except the year, which is four-digit. Hours are in military format. Altogether, there are no spaces, colons, slashes, dashes, AMs, or PMs. Hence today would be 20080825: year 2008, month 08, day 25. A more specific example: 200807062304 means year 2008, month 07, day 06, hour 23, minute 04. If I want, I can add seconds at the end. If you have many dates written with the same number of digits, you can treat them like regular numbers (e.g., 200,807,062,304) to sort them oldest to newest, or newest to oldest, by ordering them from smallest to largest, or largest to smallest. With the dates at the beginning of filenames, you can click the "Name" column in Windows Explorer to arrange them chronologically both ways. Here's an example from my Haiku folder of things I wrote in July, from oldest to newest:

    200807062253 -- Live Now or Never
    200807062304 -- Coiled Serpents
    200807131227 -- Dreams and Nightmares
    200807290110 -- The Unspoken

  11. #111
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Good post megaman, although "Banque" is reserved for French speakers (while cheque is indeed the "English" spelling....)

    No, it's both ways-- you can rent a vacation home, OR, you might be the owner of a home and want to rent it out.
    ..and I think you'll find that the term "rental" will be used in a high percentage of US searches, although I'll leave it to American friends to confirm or correct ....
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  12. #112
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Good post, megaman. I add elipses to quotes if I don't finish it or take out the middle:
    Megaman said: "British English annoys me in how it omits the comma..." although I guess to be clearest, they should be in brackets:
    "British English annoys me in how it omits the comma[...]" to show editor input, but I'm lazy : )
    I probably would need decimals or something between the numbers though-- for the same reason I don't write telephone numbers as 310184675667 (don't call it). Separators make it just easier for shaky eyes to read.

    When I read sentences with lists of three items and I'm not aware the author is British, I begin interpreting the sentence as though it contained a clause and then have to start over when I realize, by the abruptly-appearing period, it was a list—every freaking time.
    Dutch has the same rule, and readers can have the same problem.

    H:
    rental doesn't help show the difference when the sentence being asked to be translated is specifically "huur een vakantiehuis... verhuur een vakantiehuis." If I could get away with it, I'd still just say something silly like "find and set rentals here" or something. But whena business has their little jingle they want it in all the languages they support (which is rather dumb sometimes since some phrases just don't work or mean anything in some languages). The fact that we can say this in almost every other language we support doesn't help my cause (Spanish is an issue too-- they also have a word "aquilar" that really could be used for both the British "let" and "hire").
    Of course, when the boss decides it's time to include Americans, that'll open a whole Spanish can of worms anyway... : )

  13. #113
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Aha, got ya - sorry, I thought you were search focused there. Hmmm - looks like let may be ok (http://www.sublet.com/). Actually interested in how you handle the site copy (in terms of data and versioning or two seperate sites), but I'm taking this waaaay off topic now. Could you possibly PM me the site address? I'm looking at a multi-lingual site at the moment and would like to investigate different approaches.
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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameRie View Post
    Zs in US english normally become Ss in UK english. IMO
    you didn't read the thread, did you

    it's actually the other way around
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  15. #115
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    Thanks TheOriginalH and Stomme.

    As for my date format, you can adopt it with periods, spaces, slashes, whatever—it matters not. I obsess about minimalism. I'm the sort of person who makes ISOs of his CDs to put on DVDs to reduce spindles, makes text gray in a 7.5–8pt font and prints them in draft quality with 0.4" paper margins to reduce my consumption of ink and paper, writes dates without punctuation to save on typing, and would write rather write "it matters not" instead of "it does not matter". Needless to say, I have my quirks.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanXplosion View Post
    As for my date format, you can adopt it with periods, spaces, slashes, whatever—it matters not.
    Not trying to steal your glory or anything, but 'your' format is essentially the same as ISO 8601 minus the punctuation.

    Even though this is the international standard, few countries have adopted it. Sweden is one of them, though. It's quite natural here to write the date and time as, e.g., 2008-08-25 14.48.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  17. #117
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    What a delightful thread. It's funny how most people got caught up in the different spellings of words on each side of the pond. I was on holiday with a Canadian American (cue r937) a while ago and the main causes of misunderstanding were in the colloquial terms and slang. For a blog these don't matter as they just enhance the 'you' you put across. For a professional website however, they will not be used (or they shouldn't).

    What I reckon would put people off would be bad grammar; and this is universal.

    On a more personal note, one of my guilty pedantries is the use/misuse of the below:

    your - it belongs to you
    you're - you are

    there - where something is
    their - it belongs to them
    they're - they are

    sorry mate!
    Quote Originally Posted by holmescreek View Post
    If your in the UK [...]

  18. #118
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    AutisticCuckoo, I looked at ISO 8601. It doesn't surprise me that few countries adopted it. Mine appears similar, though it isn't nearly as thorough or convoluted.

    I never thought about expressing durations or intervals, always used my own timezone, and always wrote according to my preference. I never used or talked about it in public before. For your convenience, I shall use punctuation in the times as I talk about my format more.

    My approach easily accomodates durations. For example, I wrote my aforementioned haikus from 2008.07.06@22.53–2008.07.29@01.10. Or, as I would write it, 200807062253–200807290110.

    I suppose intervals could be written like i0010/07/24, meaning "interval of ten years, seven months, and twenty-four days." To accomodate uncertainties, it could be written like i0010/07/24±0000/01/03, meaning "interval of ten years, seven months, and twenty-four days, plus or minus one month and three days." Then again, historians of the future wouldn't find the four-digit year notation very helpful in intervals, which allows a shortcut. When a plus-or-minus sign is encountered, the parts on the right correspond to the most specific parts of the number to the left of the sign. So, if the left side ends with months and days and the right side has two parts then those two parts refer to months and days. Thus, the earlier examples would be written as i10/07/24 and i10/07/24±01/03. Without punctuation, that shorthand doesn't work. Without punctuation, keep the four-digit date. I would write it, i00100724±0103.

    The BC/AD or BCE/CE differentiation can be made with plus and minus signs. Hence, -0008.07.06@22.53 would mean 8 BCE on the seven month, sixth day, and so on. The AD and CE dates would be written like normal: the plus sign is assumed when there isn't a minus sign. This was a part of my personal format long before this post, though I never used it—just a little side-pondering on my part. Durations and intervals don't need such differentiation, so they'll never have plus signs or minus signs.

    Finally, for the timezone, I pick UTC. It is based on atomic time, which is very precise. Plus, it can be easily converted to local timezones if needed. A historian far into the future that came across one of my Haikus, for example, would be able to determine when I finished them with incredible precision.

    I think that covers all the bases. I suppose one could talk about how to write about millions or billions of years in the past. I sincerely doubt we'll ever be able to speak of such times with any great precision, so the MYA and BYA system seems to work just fine.

  19. #119
    SitePoint Member Doug C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smsu View Post
    I may be lighting the old blue touch paper here, but I think it's because the Jolly old Yank just can't spell correctly
    Nope...dat ain't it! Cuz we kin spell correctly jist fine. C-O-R-R-E-C-T-L-Y...correctly! See, I tolt yeh.

    Aw shoot! I forgot! I ain't no Yankee no how. Never mind-den.


    The english language is really no different than any other. Each has many variations in dialect, differing slangs devolop from the various regions of the languages use, etc. So many things contribute to the evolution of any given language. One may even discover that when they spend an extended amount of time in a region other than their native soil, they themselves begin to adapt their speech to the various nuances of that particular region.

    You can often tell the native region of someone as soon as they open their mouth to speak, even within the UK.

    Color -or- colour...both are correct variations of the english language, simply because they are both different evolutionary paths of that language.

    Can't we all just get along?
    Wishing all great sucess,

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  20. #120
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    I can tell you that folks south of the border and in South America will promptly remind USians they they (the USians) are "Norte Americanos".
    Pronounced "Naughty Americanos"...

  21. #121
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    yes, but North America is just a continent

    are people from France called French Europeans?

    are people from Brazil called Brazillian Americans?

    are people from China called Chinese Asians?

    i think Americans should be called American Americans
    People from the USA should be known as USAliens.

  22. #122
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanXplosion View Post
    I doubt many English speakers care whether you use an American or British dialect.
    If I'm reading anything written by USAliens or primarily for USAliens, it doesn't bother me if American spellings are used. But other than that, it does. I know it shouldn't do, but I get as irritated by "color" and "recognize" as I do by "loose" (instead of lose) and "alot".

    When their spellings differ, I generally prefer the American spellings since they generally have fewer letters to write or type. I would rather write "colored catalogs" than "coloured catalogues" and "bank checks" over "banque cheques". Sometimes I prefer longer spellings from both varieties though, since they keep the language noticeably more consistent. I prefer the American enrollment and skillful over the British enrolment and skilful since it's more consistent to keep the Ls from the morphemes roll and skill; similarly, I favor the British ageing, arguement, and judgement since they keep the Es from the morphemes age, argue, and judge. The British should be smote for their centres, metres, and theatres, though.
    The English spelling of bank is, er, bank. Banque is French...

    Enrolment comes from the verb "enrol", which only has one 'l'. No matter what people over the water think!

    One excellent reason for spelling cheque and metre that way is that it distinguishes them from the alternative words for 'verify' and 'measure'. The more that homonyms use the same spelling, the more scope there is for confusion in written communication. The more different words (and spellings) we have at our fingertips, the easier it is to be accurate, precise and unambiguous.

    I like the punctuation of both varieties except one major problem in each. The American style of placing periods inside quotation marks leads to obfuscation and deception.
    That "rule" is indefensible, and makes a mockery of proper punctuation!

    British English annoys me in how it omits the comma that separates the last two items in a list. When I read sentences with lists of three items and I'm not aware the author is British, I begin interpreting the sentence as though it contained a clause and then have to start over when I realize, by the abruptly-appearing period, it was a list—every freaking time.
    Ah, the old 'Oxford Comma'. I will use it when it is necessary to make the meaning clear, but if the list doesn't need it, I won't use it. I find that, most of the time, it is unnecessary and just gets in the way of the flow of reading - you wouldn't generally pause there when speaking, so the comma becomes a bit of an artificial construction. But equally, I accept that this is just a convention and that there is a plausible argument for using the comma all the time. I just don't happen to like it...

    As for date formats, I use my own. From left to right: year, month, day, hour, minute, second. As you move to the right, you get more specific. You can drop the seconds, the minutes and seconds, the hours and minutes and seconds, and so forth to make the date more vague, meaning you can be partly vague if you desire. All numbers should be two-digit except the year, which is four-digit. Hours are in military format.
    Yes, ISO format for the datetime makes the most sense. And it removes any confusion over whether 3/4/2008 is 3rd April or 4th March.

    Altogether, there are no spaces, colons, slashes, dashes, AMs, or PMs. Hence today would be 20080825: year 2008, month 08, day 25. A more specific example: 200807062304 means year 2008, month 07, day 06, hour 23, minute 04. If I want, I can add seconds at the end.
    That might work for machine based systems, but I think it's a step too far for most people - it's not very human readable. Breaking it down into 2008-07-06 23:04 makes it a heck of a lot easier to read and understand.

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    One excellent reason for spelling cheque and metre that way is that it distinguishes them from the alternative words for 'verify' and 'measure'.
    Ah, that's a good one. I never thought of that for English. In Dutch, you can meet (meten, measuer) something and have meters, but I don't think I've ever heard an English speaker say they will meter something (though I have seen "mete out punishment" if I spelled that right).

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    About the dates thing: I think all of them are pretty intuitive, except the American way, which is just silly. At least with ALL the other formats mentioned, the significance of the figure goes up or down as you go to the right - the Americans put the least significant part (day) in the middle, the middle significance (month) on the left and the most significant (year) on the right. Who the hell came up with that idea??

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Ah, that's a good one. I never thought of that for English. In Dutch, you can meet (meten, measuer) something and have meters, but I don't think I've ever heard an English speaker say they will meter something (though I have seen "mete out punishment" if I spelled that right).
    Yes, you can mete out punishment - I think it's probably from the same origin as 'meter' but I'm not certain.

    Meter tends to be used as a noun (eg 'water meter'); although it can be used as a verb, it's less common, and we'd tend to use 'measure' more often.


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