The Differences between American and British English (Part 2)

Jack   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 01:13 GMT
Suppose, someone asked someone if they had a PIN number and said,

Do you have a PIN? It would seem like they'd most likely answer. What do you need a pin for? or what do you need to pin. Therefore, saying PIN number is useful.

If someone says, Do you have a PIN number? They can answer without any confusion.
Jack   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 01:16 GMT
''How is anybody going o confuse PIN with pin, i mean , i don't see any context in which the meaning of pin would be ambiguous,''

Someone could easily confuse PIN [the number that you type into the ATM] with pin [the metal thing that you use to pin down objects.] for the reasons listed above.
Jill   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 01:36 GMT
Okay, Jack. We get it. Must you bring this topic up again? Talk about being redundant.
Jeff   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 01:45 GMT
I don't agree with you,
the situation will tell you if it's PIN or pin,

"do you have a pin",
you're paying for something in a store and somebody ask you,
do you have a pin?

"You're at home, and you ask your Mom for a pin,
Hey, mom, do you have a pin?,
she says: what do you need a pin for?

I mean, it's obvious...
mjd   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 04:47 GMT
Most of the redundancies that Jack mentions are really not that common in American English..."ink pen"??...most people just say "pen"...."off of the road", most people just say "off the road."

The whole "hot water heater" issue is another topic that has been discussed ad nauseam.
Damian   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 07:43 GMT
Most people I know simply say "pin" in the context of ATMs
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 07:58 GMT
I prefer to say "PIN number". The word "number" isn't really repeated if you consider PIN (personal ID number) as a fixed, independent acronym.

That way there's no confusion before dinnertime while discussing your PIN number as you pin down something to a dough base with a rolling pin :P
Steve   Wednesday, June 30, 2004, 03:08 GMT
I've never used "PIN number" in speech before, although I have seen it used in written form at official places such as government websites.

As far as the hot water heater debate goes, I usually just call it a boiler :)
CG   Wednesday, June 30, 2004, 11:13 GMT
Jack said
4.''Face mask'', - ''Isn't the definition of a mask, something you put on your face?

Having been turned half mad by two years of A level ICT, I can assure you that there are other kinds of mask. An input mask, for example, used in databases.
CG   Wednesday, June 30, 2004, 22:10 GMT
Do Americans use the term "sarky"?
Eastie   Wednesday, June 30, 2004, 22:15 GMT
Steve   Thursday, July 01, 2004, 01:44 GMT
What does sarky mean?
Damian   Thursday, July 01, 2004, 07:27 GMT
Steve   Thursday, July 01, 2004, 17:34 GMT
Hehe as you can see, I get almost all of my exposure to British English from the BBC...

Anyways, I was reading an article and I noticed that some of the verb conjugations were off. Here are some of the things that I noticed:

“The rugby team lose three games in a fortnight, the cricket team get thrashed by New Zealand and the West Indies…”

“At least England have the best young player in the tournament…”

“Germany are hosting in two years time…”

Ok, in the US those quotes would be:

“The rugby team loses three games in a fortnight (never heard fortnight before), the cricket team gets thrashed by New Zealand and the West Indies…”

“At least England has the best young player in the tournament…”

“Germany is hosting in two years time…”

So is this accurate? Also, do you guys use the word “fortnight” in place of “in four nights?”
Steve   Thursday, July 01, 2004, 17:37 GMT
Oh, forgot, incase you're interested, the full article can be found here: