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The Queen's EnglishPosted Monday, December 6, 2010, at 6:37 AM
When I came to Hong Kong, I certainly expected to have many cultural exchanges with the locals here. And, of course, I have: surgical masks, moon cakes and dim sum, to name a few. But, I didn't really foresee encountering so many differences between my English colleagues and myself. After all, at one point, America was part of the British Empire. However, our two allied countries are not as similar as you might think.
Many of the differences between England and America are in the language. Of course, we both speak English, but not all words mean the same thing on both sides of the pond. I knew some of the different lingo already -- lift instead of elevator, lorry instead of truck, chips instead of French fries. But there are many, many more differences, and not just in slang words. Below, a small sampling.
rubber = eraser
It's also funny that things that seem pretty everyday to me aren't at all part of the traditional English experience, and vice versa. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, drive-through Christmas light displays and cornbread are unfamiliar to my friends. Today I learned that they eat chili (called chili con carne) with rice; and not too long ago I discovered that a cricket match takes FIVE days! Advent calendars are commonly filled with chocolate, not just pictures, and university usually only lasts for three years.
I could go on and on, but that might get a bit tedious. But, I hope you readers find the comparisons between American and English culture as interesting as I do.
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Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.