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In Case You Were Wondering

July 16, 2008


Words I now use as an inhabitant of a former British colony:


“Pram” for “stroller”—hey, the less syllables, the better

“Lift” for “elevator”—again, 4 syllables vs. 1? No contest

“Biscuit” for “cookie”—it feels a little less like I’m spoiling my son to say “Simon, want another biscuit?”

“Take away” for “to go”—self-preservation: the people behind me at the coffee shop begin to direct their caffeine withdrawal anger at me when the cashier refuses to respond to the American phrase

“Coriander” for “cilantro”—also self-preservation: I want to get the right thing in the grocery store from the cranky produce lady

“Ring” for “call” (on the telephone)—sounds dainty and less intrusive, doesn’t it?

“Straight away” for “right now/then”—I know this breaks my syllable philosophy, but it redeems itself by being both past and present tense, as in “I’ll ring her straight away” and “So I took the pram into the lift straight away”

“Queue” for “line”—when else do you get to use a word that has 4 vowels in a row?

“Bin” for “garbage can”—yep, you guessed it…the syllable thing


Stay tuned for the next installment: Words I refuse to use as an inhabitant of a former British colony


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