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Something I've Never Understood, About The American Way Of Speaking.

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Why do they refer to it as "math", when the full word is "mathematics", with an s?

 

Why don't they say "maths", like we say it this side of the pond?

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Why do Brits refer to "college" as "university"? "Toilets" as "loos"? "Closets" as "cupboards"? Insist on inserting the letter "U" into various words like "colour"? It works both ways, m'friend. ;)

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We say tap whilst you call it a faucet, and we say lift whilst you call it an elevator.

But it's fine! As long as we can understand each other, who cares? Language is a beautiful thing and so let's respect it in all it's forms.

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Why do Brits refer to "college" as "university"? "Toilets" as "loos"? "Closets" as "cupboards"? Insist on inserting the letter "U" into various words like "colour"? It works both ways, m'friend. ;)

 

That's just different words that mean the same thing (or, in the case of colour, a different spelling), which is quite different to dropping the s off a word, when it is abbreviated.

 

BTW. we do use the words college and toilets.

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And we say "while" while you say "whilst"... :p

 

I think the math/maths think is just about abbreviation.  If you abbreviate the word, why tack the s on the end?

 

We also say someone's going to be in the hospital, not in hospital--why leave out the "the"?

 

As has been said, two countries separated by a common language.

Edited by phantagrae

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That's just different words that mean the same thing (or, in the case of colour, a different spelling), which is quite different to dropping the s off a word, when it is abbreviated.

 

BTW. we do use the words college and toilets.

 

The phrases "so what" and "who cares" are running through my mind. I was really, really trying not to be a jerk, y'know. Way to ruin that plan. ;)

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That's very interesting Irene thanks for posting. For anyone interested in Greece we use the word mathematics and there is no abbreviated form of the word. We use it as plural though (e.g. We say "Mathematics are..." ). Personally I prefer the word math at least when I speak cause I like the way it sounds better.

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College and university are not the same thing......unless I am missing the point

 

I didn't say they were.

 

I just said we also use the word college.

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In Canada we totally speak a cross between the Brit way and the American way.  I like writing colour (not color), theatre (not theater).  But maths still sounds weird to me. I definitely always say math.   My husband is British, and he says maths.  I still giggle when he says that.  Other words he says that makes me laugh are privacy (I say PRYvacy, he says PRIVacy), vitamins, and urinal.

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..., theatre (not theater). 

I use them both. Theater when talking about those new-fangled moving pictures and Theatre when speaking of live stage shows. Math or maths is, for me, simply a difference in how the two counties use words.

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My favourite (not favorite) differences are aluminium/aluminum - do you guys have to differentiate between the element and the everyday metal it's made into?!? - and metre/meter. The latter one is destroying the minds of teachers I work with who write "perimetre" cos they don't know the difference any more.

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I never took chemistry, but I don't think I've ever heard any American say "aluminium"...

Destined was talking about the British pronouncing it that way, Stephen is from the UK.

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Why do they refer to it as "math", when the full word is "mathematics", with an s?

 

Why don't they say "maths", like we say it this side of the pond?

 

Errr... I'm quite fond of British literature, so I sometimes slip into British colloquialisms. 'Aluminium' is exactly the same as 'Aluminum'. (I'll admit, in a spelling bee in high school, I spelled theater as 'theatre', so.....)

 

Why do Brits refer to diapers as 'nappies'? Never made that connection...

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I never took chemistry, but I don't think I've ever heard any American say "aluminium"...

That's cos Americans don't. Your chemists made a conscious decision to change the spelling back in the 20s. I never found out why. Maybe Sheldon knows! The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry officially adopted aluminium as the spelling of the element in 1990 but later accepted aluminum as an alternate spelling. So go figure! ( and why do I even know this?)

But since English is the bastardisation of every other European Language there is, no wonder we can't agree on the spelling let alone commonly accepted names for things. As an Aussie the first faucet I ever heard of was a sexy blonde from Charlie's Angels! And diaper vs. nappy? explain either of them. We put ice cream on our jelly, you put your jelly on bread with peanut butter.

All interesting ( or uninteresting) factoids - depending on your interest in the subject

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In Canada we totally speak a cross between the Brit way and the American way. I like writing colour (not color), theatre (not theater). But maths still sounds weird to me. I definitely always say math. My husband is British, and he says maths. I still giggle when he says that. Other words he says that makes me laugh are privacy (I say PRYvacy, he says PRIVacy), vitamins, and urinal.

My fave way of explaining the Canadisn hybrid pronunciation is "Z (which we say the Britsh way, "zed") is for zebra (which we say the U.S. way, zee-bra)."

But good grief, there are math(s) teachers out there spelling it "perimetre"? Lol

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Destined was talking about the British pronouncing it that way, Stephen is from the UK.

I know.

What I was saying is that although I've heard Brits say aluminium, I've never heard any American pronounce it that way.

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I know.

What I was saying is that although I've heard Brits say aluminium, I've never heard any American pronounce it that way.

 

Ahhhhhh, got it now.  I thought it was a response specifically to Destined.  Sorry phanta.  

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I never understood how a hoodie (American) could possibly be called a bunny hug (Canadian.) On the upside, Timmy Ho's beats Krispy Cream any day of the week. They seriously need to expand into the states.

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Hoodie is by far the more popular term across Canada as well, with bunny hug specific to Saskatchewan. (I live next door in the province of Alberta and everyone says hoodie here). And agreed re Timmy's. :)

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Hoodie in the UK is a fleece jacket with a hood which a lot of teenagers like to wear even when its boiling hot and their trousers down almost to their knees

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