Archive for March, 2007

Turkish ban on YouTube

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Yet another reason why Turkey must not, under any circumstances be allowed to join the EU (there are many many more serious examples besides a single website, but this just helps to illustrate a general trend in that country): banning YouTube at the country level. While I have absolutely nothing against the country, until it can grow up and understand why freedom of speech is important, everything that can be (legally) done to stop them joining the EU, should and must be done.

Yes, other countries in Europe block websites and make certain online activities illegal, however actions such as those regularly taken by Turkey seem to go well beyond what Europeans would consider to be acceptable. As a European myself, I find the kinds of values being asserted in their actions are diametrically opposed to those that Europe should hold dear. Of course, I might be wrong. Maybe Europe would be best served by compromising on various fundamental principles just to get another member state.


US/UK English translations

Monday, March 5th, 2007

So I’m thinking about putting up a proper webpage tracking some of the differences between US and UK English. Maybe a modified dict or something could be the appropriate solution. Until then, here’s a list (I’ll try to remember to update this article when I have new ideas):

  • Advert -> Commercial (Advertisement is not used for TV)
  • Aeroplane -> Airplane (obvious example there)
  • Bin -> Trash Can (more well known example there)
  • Cafetière -> French Press
  • Dressing Gown -> Bath Robe (don’t ever say Dressing Gown)
  • Gherkin -> Pickle (pickled cucumber, more generic than Gherkin too)
  • Glandular Fever -> Mono (full name (infectious) mononucleosis)
  • Hire Car -> Rental Car
  • Jumper -> Sweater (more well known example there)
  • Post -> Mail (more well known example there)
  • Spanner -> Wrench (don’t ever say “throw a spanner in the works”)
  • Trainers -> Running Shoes (or maybe Sneakers)
  • Trousers -> Pants (more well known example there)
  • Washing -> Laundry (though they’d guess)

Of course, I’m not addressing the pronounciation differences. There are obvious examples from popular culture such as Tomato/Tomarto, but then there are more subtle differences in words like vase (no “varse”), adver*tize*ment, and so on. Some of these are well known, others not. And then, of course, there’s a need to adjust general grammar rules for a US audience, too.

I generally modify my pronounciation, as well as my grammar and spelling, in business/consumer settings in order to avoid confusement/random giggling at what I’m saying. Though with friends, I often don’t bother to change how I say something (because it’s more amusing that way around) – but probably still consider it.