Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Question for the Brits

http://local.joelonsoftware.com/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

I notice one of the translation languages is "English (United Kingdom)". Do you folks have trouble reading Joel's essays, and you need someone to swap chips for fries and lifts for elevators (and vice versa where Joel put in some foreign flair and used UKanian)?
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
January 27th, 2006 10:59am
I don't think it's a problem with alternate words -- I know full well that an elevator is a lift, etc. -- but possibly some cultural references may need replacing with a UK equivalent, or at least need a bit of explanation.  (For example, Joel's current article mentions "brownstones", which to me means nothing.)
Permalink Send private email Mat Hall 
January 27th, 2006 11:02am
Not usually;-) There are a few differences in vocablary but mostly it'd be cultural references that trip you up. 

However given that most of our American cousins can understand our dialect too it's a bit of a risky thing for him to put there...
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
January 27th, 2006 11:04am
I think Brownstones are the old brick-built blocks of flats.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
January 27th, 2006 11:05am
That was my guess, too -- probably not the best example as it can be got from context (and the picture), but it was the first one I found. :)
Permalink Send private email Mat Hall 
January 27th, 2006 11:07am
It isn't in the least bit irritating reading an American using American spellings and vocabulary, what's irritating is when you're asked to change your own language.

I do think if you write articles that are supposed to be teaching something then you should explain your terms and hypertext makes that explanation simpler than any text equivalent.

For instance, there should be links for 'brownstone', 'trashcan' and so on because as became apparent not everyone understood the references and so couldn't understand the article properly.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 11:17am
Is trashcan really a colloquialism?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 11:18am
Absolutely.

There's a thread where Stephen and I completely confuse one another because of trashcan and wheelie bin.  I thought a trashcan was the equivalent of our dustbin, which is now superceded by the wheelie bin and recycling boxes.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 11:20am
Yes -- we call them "bins".
Permalink Send private email Mat Hall 
January 27th, 2006 11:21am
But it's a simple compound word.  "Trash" "can", what else could it be?  A discarded tin?  I suppose, but that would be silly.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 11:22am
But we don't use trash in that sense.  We do use it as a verb, but not as a noun.  We trash something, but we have rubbish not trash (and certainly not garbage).
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 11:23am
The confusion became greater because Stephen then opined that trashcan was the same as litter bin, which here is a public receptacle for waste (to be pedantic) and I really didn't think that was what was meant.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 11:25am
If by public receptacle for waste you mean a bin in the street that anyone can use, then yeah, we call those trash cans too.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 11:26am
They've ceased to exist in cities, people leave bombs in them you know.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 11:28am
What a funny story Simon! Oh I wish I was there... how embarassing!
Permalink :-} 
January 27th, 2006 11:28am
From and Ian Rankin i've got on the go:
"She says she once had a punter who looked just like you. He dressed in plus-fours and made her whack him with a mashie-niblick."

I'm guessing that plus-fours are diapers but the mashie-niblick ... dunno. Could you translate it for me?
Permalink Send private email PNII 
January 27th, 2006 11:58am
Oh god you're not serious are you? It's a type of golf club man! Surely the plus-fours should have been a clue?
Permalink Send private email Andrew Cherry 
January 27th, 2006 12:04pm
(Oh, plus fours aren't diapers. Think just past knee length trousers, usually tight at the bottoms, to create a slightly billowing appearance. Often in an eye searing tweed, but it's not required. They are typically worn by people playing golf who still live in 1933.)
Permalink Send private email Andrew Cherry 
January 27th, 2006 12:06pm
I believe it's an obsolete type of golf-club.  Plus fours are those short loose trousers coming down a little below the knee worn with long socks.  They're a golfing thing too, although I think they were popular in the 1920s.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
January 27th, 2006 12:06pm
well of course ... golf club (abut a 7 iron - don't know why i didn't think of google before ...) and diapers - a natural.

yea, right.
Permalink Send private email PNII 
January 27th, 2006 12:08pm
ahhh, got it now thanks.
Permalink Send private email PNII 
January 27th, 2006 12:08pm
http://www.ashbysportswear.com/knickers_plus_fours.htm

This is safe for work - but probably not safe for anything vomit sensitive.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
January 27th, 2006 12:08pm
in context i should have got it ... Rebus was talking to the manager of a golf club in the presence of a prossie.
Permalink Send private email PNII 
January 27th, 2006 12:11pm
> Joel's current article mentions "brownstones", which to me means nothing

Something to do with your kidneys, innit?
Permalink  
January 27th, 2006 12:19pm
The duscussion on trash cans was to do with the Lebedev surevy which was concerned with litter bins. It didn't have Simon's wheelie bin design so he complained.

Simon's wheelie bin is a trash can, but not of the kind which Lebedev was discussing.

I think you can understand brownstones from context. For years the Joel site had the picture of his grandmas brownstoen which were the original Fog Creek Offices. They are the equivalent of the town houses or terraces you have in London.

Often I find the problem is not the vocabulary; it is the fact that there is no equivalent thing. For example in the UK garbage is collected once a week from wheelie bins you leave just outside the front gate for that purpose. In Spain, Saudi, Kuwait and many other places you take the trash down in a plastic bag every evening and deposit it in a large skip like wheelie bin, which is liftend up mechaniclaly and emptied into the back of the trash lorry nightly. Then you have the fact that American mailboxes are on the kerb, British mail boxex are a slot in the door, and the Saudis have to go to the Post Office to pick up their mail. And a long etc that have nothing to do with language.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
January 27th, 2006 4:02pm
don't worry, many Americans don't know what a brownstone is either. "a townhouse made of brick?" "no brownstone." "wtf is brownstone?" "it's a material common in connecticut...."
Permalink  
January 27th, 2006 5:23pm
We get it collected once every other week, the recycle boxes get collected once a week. And its rubbish not garbage :-).
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
January 27th, 2006 7:38pm
Just to confuse matters, I empty my trashcans into the city-provided wheelie bin, which I put by the curb (note correct spelling) on Wednesdays.

Oh, and I don't recycle.
So there.
Permalink example 
January 27th, 2006 8:18pm

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