12 May 2009

London Vernacular








The English speak English, and the Americans technically derive much of their culture from the British. And yet, there are some things that are as markedly disparate as the spelling of "United States" and "United Kingdom." (The emphasis being on the latter half of those words.) The biggest difference that came to my mind first, obviously, is the color of the bark on the oak trees. It's a much darker hue here in Britian. But besides that, there are some very different words and phrases between the two Western nations. For example, at the Victoria and Albert museum this week one of the curators told me she needed to look at my ruksack. I didn't quite know how to interpret that, and only after twenty minutes, a very awkward moment, and a translator, was I able to get "backpack" out of "ruksack." Another example came during Church. I am working with the youngsters in the nursery. Asking what one child's name was, I heard "Kite." I thought that was a strange name, but then again so is having a Queen protected by stiff guards with fake guns & tall, furry hats, so I just accepted "Kite" as an acceptable name. Afterall, who am I to talk? I want to name my kids Malachi, Jamal, Ezra, and Surfboard. I called this poor little now-traumatized girl Kite all afternoon until I saw her with her American mother who called her "Kate." Woops. Not my Bad; I was told her name was Kite. But the greatest vernacular difference of all came that same afternoon when the head mistress asked me, "Brother Bennett, would you please take Daniel to the loo before he wee-wees in his trousers?" I nearly wee-wee'd my own trousers when I heard that phrase! There are certainly many differences between the Americans and the British, but at least we both have only one 'r' in the spelling of our nationalities, something we can build on. At least it's a start.

6 comments:

Carson said...

That's pretty funny Dave. I must ask though, do you really know your oaks trees well enough to notice a difference in their hues?

Jessica Sorenson said...

Wallace, don't feel bad about the rucksack incident. That lady had a very hard-to-understand accent, and she was trying to speak in somewhat hushed museum tones, and she was telling us to do something we didn't really understand the meaning behind (like holding our rucksacks). So you can't really feel too bad about that one!

Jessica Sorenson said...

P.S. Thanks for posting on TWO of my blog posts. You don't know how cool that made me feel.

brook said...

wow. and i was thinking about going to grad school in england...i may re-think that now.

Michael and Emilie Davidson said...

David, my dear friend! You are hilarious! I LOVE your blog and it is so good to see all of your adventures in London. You always know just how to take in an experience in its entirety. I am curious though, which names did you and Grant go with for this summer? I think Peter sounds like a good English name.

Anyway, we can't wait to read more. Lets Skype sometime. What is the time change between London and Seattle?

Rachel Ricchio said...

what a pleasant surprise! em's wedding was gorg, huh! you missed out on quite a little party! i have absolutely no idea who "rockice" is! sorry about that! that's pretty sweet that someone is following up on your blog though!! looks like you have an admirer!!!!