Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Trucks and Lorries

In three years of reading the excellent Separated by a Common Language, I have never been able to fault it for the accuracy of its discussions of British English (BrE) vs. American English (AmE), speaking as someone who straddles both of those worlds.  Once again, Lynne is spot on in her discussion today of the issue of Trucks and Lorries.  There is one slight complication not mentioned by Lynne, though, which is that the word "truck" and "lorry" are interchangeable in BrE, perhaps because of creeping Americanization.  This is no recent thing.  One of the most famous Not the Nine O'Clock News sketches was all about "trucking", though the choice of word was no doubt influenced not so much by the fact that there is no verb "to lorry" as by the fact that "trucking" rhymes with something you could not say on the BBC in 1980, even after nine o'clock:


rpg said...

Fantastic :)

Chuck said...

I quickly learned the difference between BrE and AmE while attempting to figure out what Ian was singing about on all the Jethro Tull albums I listened to.

'70's Bowie was a bit hard to sort out too. But at least I can get Ricky Gervais on "Extras" without needing to have the close caption on...mostly...

I'm still hoping "gobsmacked" catches on here among us Yanks.