Random Chappie   Monday, August 30, 2004, 07:48 GMT
In case I offended any of you sensitive people by calling Southern California a "hellhole", I must say that I consider London, the capital of my native land, a "hellhole" as well.

I want to visit Scotland one day- maybe I'll like it there. The summers there certainly seem very appealing. I love cold temperatures and the sound of rain against windowpanes. Sun and heat, go away, come again another year, Random Chappie wants to play, in his coat 'n' mackintosh.
Mxsmanic   Monday, August 30, 2004, 18:44 GMT
I thought about "boils down," actually, but nothing else came to mind at that moment. I consider it colloquial, just one of those zillions of idioms.

I'm very disappointed in the discontinuance of TP120. Kodak's stupidity knows no bounds.
Damian   Monday, August 30, 2004, 20:46 GMT

In all seriousness, if you want to experience a Scottish summer I would be happy to accompany you up frae Edinburgh over the Firth and onward to the Ochils or the Trossachs as long as you come prepared for any eventuality. By that I mean anything from thick lined waterproofs or a cagoule to shorts and a tee shirt. Both could well be suitable on the same day, such is the variability of the Caledonian climate.

You would NOT like Edinburgh in January with a piercing east wind cutting into your vitals....good excuse to seek refuge in a certain warm and cosy wee pub in Broughton Street.

Lord Byron: "The English winter ends in July, only to recommence in August". He forgot to mention Scotland.
Random Chappie   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 01:11 GMT
Hello, Damian,

Thank you very much for your offer but perhaps I would prefer to stick to Edinburgh, though I may visit Aberdeen and Inverness as well.

As to clothing matters, you won't have to worry about me changing clothes in the car. I don't wear shorts or tee-shirts even in California in the summer. I simply add and remove layers: jumper over my shirt, cagoule over my jumper, off with the cagoule, off with the jumper, long trousers on all the time.

England was certainly much colder in Lord Byron's time than it is today! I read somewhere (I believe it was the Met Office's website) about a mini ice age that lasted from the Renaissance until the early twentieth century. I suppose Lord Byron got a month or two of snow.

Blah! We're reinforcing the stereotype of Britons discussing weather. So far, that's the only stereotype that I've found to apply to myself. I carp about the weather almost every day, at work, at home, and at my friends' houses. People must be shaking their heads in annoyance behind my back!

Oh, and to contribute to this thread, the following quote comes from a novel by Thomas Hardy, a Victorian English writer:
"You can milk'em clean, my maidy? I don't want my cows going azew at this time o' year."
Full of slang from an archaic dialect.
...   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 01:18 GMT
"People must be shaking their heads in annoyance behind my back!"

I'm sure they are.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 03:30 GMT
This Polish guy/gal hosts an excellent article on slang:

The old belief that there is good English, which is pure, beautiful and eternal and that everything else is bad, trivial and ugly English, has grown out of people's foolish illusion that one can stop evolution and transition of culture, society and in this way also language. Good English is a fiction beloved of academics who think that because they open their mouths and words come out they are authorities on speech. The question of good English is not one of grammar or syntax; it is a matter of choices and fashions in the use of words. It often happens that what one person regards as objectionable, another one accepts without any hesitation. What is slang today, may become colloquial tomorrow and standard speech the day after; what is more, the good forms of today may turn into slang soon.

Read the rest!
garans   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 05:02 GMT
A strange thing - I thought that Damian is an American and Random Chappie is British.
Mxsmanic   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 05:25 GMT
There are thousands of slang words that have been slang since time immemorial, and there are hundreds of thousands of words that have never been slang.
Random Chappie   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 05:56 GMT
My definition of good English is:
1. Language that can be understood by at least 80% of native English speakers who have completed secondary school and can fluently read any newspaper.
2. Language that follows good grammar and syntax.
3. Language that does not use sexually-expletive terms to refer to entities and ideas that are in no way related to copulation or reproduction.

Personally, I'm not too concerned about word choice. I've argued a few times with some older relatives of mine who were completely unable to accept the expansion of word meanings. As for slang, I find myself using both British and American slang quite often.

Damian and I are both British but he's Scottish and I'm English. Almost all of you probably already know this, but new visitors to this thread may start thinking that I'm American after reading my last few posts describing California and enquiring about Scotland.
Damian   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 06:34 GMT
<<I'm sure they are>>

Hey ... don't be so mean ....or so anonymous! Why so shy? :-)

<<I thought that Damian is an American>>

Och no, Garans! As Random says, I'm a Jock....I'd have thought my Brit spellings would have ruled me out as being American....I do love a Big Mac though.....and Friends, and Will and Grace....not so keen on razzmatazz political conventions.....and I LOVE watching basketball....I fail to understand baseball, though....I thought only English cricket was boring!

I read somewhere about some Englishman making a quote about various English accents and which probably reflected the snobbery (English!) prevailing at the time....must have been ages ago. Anyway, this bloke said that "One can despise a fellow Englishman as soon as he opens his mouth"......or words to that effect.

As Random says, English is beautiful and expressive...and is constantly evolving as society changes. I still say that most of use use it to fit circumstances and environment. I would never speak the same English with my friends as I would, say, at a job interview, and I have plenty of those coming up in the near future. Even then, you have to be careful not too appear too stiff and formal which is just as bad I reckon.

Random: I agree with your sentiments about hellhole, rat-race's a great city for fun and to visit for short periods but I'm always grateful for my comparatively laid-back, less frenetic Edinburgh. Only very rarely here have I been asked if I speak English....always a shock in your own country.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 08:03 GMT
"There are thousands of slang words that have been slang since time immemorial, and there are hundreds of thousands of words that have never been slang."

- Also, thousands of non-slang words have been used in constructing slang phrases since time immemorial. ;)
garans   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 10:31 GMT

I thought that you are American bcs your writing is more informal than that of Random Chappie.

I think Random likes good classical style.