Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 144

Wrong side / right side of the road

Every time (and I mean every time) I get in to the car and drive I do consciously still say to myself ‘drive on the right, drive on the right’. (Note, I still do sometimes inadvertently go round to the passenger side of the car with the intention of driving and then pretend that I was just putting my bag in / getting something / sorting something out.)

However, it is incredibly disconcerting when you are heading down a highway/freeway/road with two lanes going one way and you are in the outside lane and a flipping car is coming towards you.

(I still don’t know what the different roads are called and what the difference between Interstates/highways/freeways are – rest assured, this will be rectified via Google – fyi, in the UK we generally call those ‘dual carriage ways’.)

Anyway, as the car was coming towards me, my head went like this:

Am I in the wrong lane? OMG, how can I be driving in the wrong lane after 10 months out here?
F*ck, she’s in the wrong lane!
Argh, you crazy lady!
Woah, that was surreal.

Poor lady, she was probably having a right old panic attack. In fairness, it is quite easy to pull out into the oncoming traffic lane (even for the natives) – expecially if there is no oncoming traffic and you don’t actually look at the road signs and arrows and no entry signs……

Drive on the right, drive on the right....

Drive on the right, drive on the right….

It kind of messed with head for the rest of the drive, but no one was hurt, so that’s the good news. (And total relief and a little bit of smugness that it wasn’t me, the expat Brit who learnt to drive on the left/correct side of the road πŸ™‚ )

The ways y’all say stuff

Americans don’t all speak the same, that we know. How we UK gals love the Southern accent in the USA. The drawl, the lilt, the cowboy in chaps, the check shirt, the doe-eyes….oh hang, is that just me getting carried away with current obsessions with John Ross Jr. in the new Dallas? Anyway, we love the Bronx twang and the………..um, I can’t think of any others that we love, but there we have it – at least we recognise the difference in accents.

Bad boy John Ross Jr. Mmmm, dreamy.....

Bad boy John Ross Jr. Mmmm, dreamy…..

I’ve mentioned that my husband is a Cockney and sometimes our American friends find him hard to understand. But sometimes there are words I have to ask to be repeated also by Americanos. And this little gem of a piece tell us exactly that – the pronunciation of many words differs greatly from State to State.

Regional accents are a major part of what makes American English so interesting as a dialect, much like British English has so many variations.

For example:

The pronunciation of “caramel” starts disregarding vowels once you go west of the Ohio River.

For whatever reason, it’s a “boo-wie” knife in Texas and DC.

Americans can’t even agree how to pronounce crayon.

The South is the only place where you’ll try to call your “law-yer” instead of your “loyer”.

It’s fascinating stuff! I always want to call the town ‘Bowie’ like we would David Bowie, but that it ain’t!

Is this true? I don't know, but I like it! :)

Is this true? I don’t know, but I like it! πŸ™‚

Watch this for Hugh Laurie’s British / American chat / chinwag about the differences between our words:

Martin O’Malley

We haven’t heard much from Martin recently, so I thought I would just refresh our memories about what he looks like πŸ™‚

martin-o_malley-hot-governor-thumb-250x284-24407

thumb

And with that I bid you adieu for today!

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9 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 144

  1. My gawd, I can’t get over how buff Martin is!

  2. Pat and Pam says:

    I love the accent stuff! You may find that some Marylanders (Glen Burnie folk, for one) use “yous” for a group of two or more. Also, there is another word that Brits insist on mispronouncing is Houston, as in Texas. It is NOT HOW-ston, it is HEW-ston. (Sorry about that, but it is one of my peeves, if not a pet one.)

  3. ThatOtherGuy says:

    Oddly in NYC they have a Houston street pronounced “Howston”. In Ohio they have a river spelled Rio but they pronounce it “Rye-O”.

    Actress doing accents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NriDTxseog (quite good some of them)

    And Marty is looking at a presidential run in 2016
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/martin-omalley-2016_n_3311635.html

  4. Sally says:

    Ack, never mind – should have clicked your hyperlink first! *blush*

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