TRACEY BENDINGER | Culture | Contact

“Haha! You call that a what?” laughed an incredulous Bill Fowler, while pointing at a can of soft drink.

“Pop?” replied Chad Hodges, confused.

“Mate, that’s soft drink! What else do you yanks call wrong?”

“Well, I don’t think we call anything wrong”

“Can you pass me the ketchup though?” asked Chad, unaware that he just opened a can of worms.

“Mate, the what?”

“Ketchup, the Heinz, to put on this burger” 

“[Haha] fuck me, mate that’s called tomato sauce, or T-sauce, dead horse”

Chad just looked at Bill like he was speaking in tongues.

This back and forth went on between Bill and his new American friend, Chad, for the next 30 minutes, neither willing to admit that their name for objects might be wrong.

The Advocate reached out to Dr. Karl Devon, a local Linguist and Etymologist, to see why Americans insist on having different names and spellings for things.  

“American speakers of English figuratively divorced themselves from the “King’s English” at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The majority of the divergence in vocabulary happened for the same reason, they just wanted to be different.”

While there is no ‘wrong’ name for something, the names Americans insist on are wrong – just as Bill is insisting to Chad, they just don’t make any sense.

With 2 weeks remaining on he and his wife’s trip around America, the likelihood of butting heads with more Americans over their strange words is very high.

More to come.


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