Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 523

Baltimore crime/ English city crime

I’ve been reading up a lot on the differences and similarities between crime in Baltimore and crime in London and Manchester via top Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton.

When The Wire got popular in the UK he spent sometime reporting from UK cities to find out if they were experiencing similar issues.

It makes for really interesting reading. Take a look here and here.

Some of the comments that stand out are:

On 7 November: ‘I woke up to the sound of police sirens and a constant pop-pop-popping outside the Kentish Town flat where I’m staying. I assumed it was fireworks – I would later learn it was part of the Guy Fawkes celebrations – but where I’m from, it was instinctive to wonder if such sounds could also be gunfire.’

Reflecting on Baltimore: ‘Despite significant improvements, including a 20-year low in killings last year [2008], the city [Baltimore] remains one of the most violent in America, and some wonder whether the cycles of poverty and drug addiction are intractable.’

Crime in Baltimore

Crime in Baltimore

Whilst in Manchester: ‘Baltimore this is not. While the area described as Manchester’s underbelly has drawn terrifying headlines in recent years and was compared by the shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling to inner-city Baltimore, I drove around with officers for seven hours and saw nothing to support such a comparison.’

Assessing British criminals: ‘In contrast to American gangs, Manchester’s are racially diverse. They don’t deal in large quantities of heroin or cocaine, but mostly marijuana. And while there are guns on the street, most of them have been obtained through quite creative means, including re-formatted starter pistols and homemade weapons.’

Crime in Manchester

Crime in Manchester

Makes interesting reading, my friends.

Pronouncing numbers USA stylie

Anyway, on a lighter note….!

I still pronounce numbers the British way, and by this I mean pronouncing the longer numbers.

Take the number 6400 for instance.

If this was on a cheque/check that had been written to me I would say ‘Thanks every so much for the six thousand four hundred pounds you gave me.‘ (A much better exchange rate than dollars by the way, though in reality this is a fantasy because I will never get a cheque for this amount of money 😦 ).

If this was a house number and I lived at 6400 Smug Suburban Way I would say:  ‘My address is six, four, zero, zero Smug Suburban Way.’ (FYI, most house numbers here are ridiculously long – I’ve never known a house number that is just plain no. 1 or 2! Where do they start and end?! Who knows? Not me!)

If this was in a phone number, I would say ‘Call me anytime on xxx-xxx-six-four-zero-zero‘. (Except I actually wouldn’t say that: I’d say ‘I’ll call you.’ 😉 )

But….my American cousins seem to say 6400 as ‘Sixty four hundred’ all the time for every occasion. Interesting, mais non?!

It's number-tastic!

It’s number-tastic!

Ah, UK and USA! Same, but different. As ever 🙂 .

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