I was in a bank last year talking with the cashier about buying Euro currency before going to the Netherlands and he told me that they had been instructed never to use "euros"...the correct term is "euro" so he sold me £200 worth of euro. It sounds wrong, I know, and everybody says euros anyway, whatever the official term is. So the guy was only abiding by the rules, even though it sounds officious.
>>I'm not sure about what the rest of the member countries think, but at times the Brits get pissed off being told what rules they have to abide by..even down to crazy things like bananas must not be too curvy <<
Damian, this feeling is present back here in the East as well, though at the moment most people are at most EU-sceptical, not downright hostile. But I may be just a matter of time... The thing that enraged me the most is that Hungary gets subventions for cutting down apple orchards at some parts of the country - I guess because the EU wants to sell its "standardized apples" here, instead of the juicy ones that are a miracle to taste. Crazy! ... By the way, some of those eurocrats seem to be obsessed with standardization. I wonder when somebody will come up with the idea of the standardized EU-citizen, using the latest developments in genetics... But I wonder which language such a clone would speak. Maybe Europish? :-)
Oops sorry, I got carried away a little... But I still wonder how the EU will cope with its language issues on the long run. It will be sort of funny if they finally settle down on English after Britain has left the bunch. As matters stand at the moment, this may not be such an impossible scenario...
>>the correct term is "euro" so he sold me £200 worth of euro. It sounds wrong, I know, and everybody says euros anyway, whatever the official term is. <<
Now I think of it, this is not very strange here in Hungary, because we don't use the plural after numbers. So "ten euro" is "tíz euro", though you can also see it with a long "o". And incidentally the pronunciation here is "ehooraw", which is closest to the way a Spanish or an Italian would say it. On the other hand, in English it is "ewraw", in Dutch and French "öraw", and in German "oyraw" (of course this anglicized transcription is just approximate) - funny to see, and I wonder if they will try to create a standard pronunciation for it, too. So the non-plural rule is natural only to Hungarians, and maybe to Germans, who can also be happy without a plural form. For the French, it makes no difference, because singular and plural forms are pronounced identically. By the way, eurocrats always make me think of Gulliver's travel to Laputa - if you are familiar with the story, you can understand why.
I put an "S" to euro if there are more than 1 for only 1 reason, this is how we do in french, if some other people don't do it in their own language, it's ok. There is no and there must not be any obligation to put an s. I think we must all follow our own rules languages.
<<some of those eurocrats seem to be obsessed with standardization.>>
That would not be a problem if they standardised only when it's useful. For example, I'd love it if we had a standardised railway system. The Eurostar is a good example of this need: it has shoes to pick up electricity from England's third rail, and two pantographs, one for the French electric system and one for that of Belgium. Building these features was terribly expensive.
Also, the lines Eurostar uses in England are of less good standard than that of France. As a result, the train is limited to 270 KM/H in England while it runs at up to 300 KM/H in France. During the heat wave of 2003, the train was to run even slower in England because the railway were dilated!
Same thing for the TGV Thalys (France-Belgium-Germany-Netherland): it has to support 4 different electric supplies and can run at its maximum speed only in France and Belgium because it uses normal railway in Germany and the Netherland.
What the??? European Union is supposed to be about freedom of movement, damnit! So give us more high speed trains with better railway system!
Same thing for the wall plug differences: when will it be possible to connect a European device in the UK and vice versa?
<< when will it be possible to connect a European device in the UK and vice versa?>>
Well...simple....when you make the necessary adjustments across the Channel. While you're at it, why not change to driving on the LOGICAL side of the road.....viz: On the LEFT.
Napolean is to blame for you guys driving on the right...it's against nature! ;-
Most people are right handed (I'm an exception as it happens!). In the old days most horsemen held their swords in the right hands which is why they kept to the left of the roadway or track or whatever. When they encountered an enemy approaching from the opposite direction it was easier for them to lash out with the sword in self defence. Everyone kept to the left in those days for that reason...a matter of convenience. Then along came a wee Emperor Nappy who decided to change over to riding/driving on the right (maybe on a whim) in all those territories, outside France, which he had conquered. That was most of the European Continent.
He never crossed the Channel to Britain to conquer these islands (like another guy with a funny moustache a century and a half later). So we continue to drive logically!
Just joking.....I think ;-)
Lol, I don't drive. I only care about trains! :p
Logic, yeah you guys probably know about it, with your measurement system based on pounds, inches, feet, miles and so forth. And let's not even compare the code Napoleon with the Commonlaw! ;-p
Seriously, that would be easy to have standardised railway for high speed trains throughout the EU. That would be utopist, on the other hand, to dream of car standardisation. Plus I would miss too much your "look left" signs painted at the cross walks. It's like the London tube, don't fix the gaps between the trains and the platforms. Doing so would delete a lot of opportunities for funny advertisements like "mind the gag" (for the festival of British humour) and "mind the gap" (the gap being actually a squale's widely open mouth).
Thank goodness, the British way of driving wasn't adopted in the US. I felt like an idiot in London when trying to get on one of the buses LOL
At least you weren't almost run over by one of those buses like my mom and I almost were...
<<I only care about trains!>>
I wish I could share your passion..I hold a student rail pass which allows me a discount of 33% on both Brit Rail travel and also throughout Europe. I have been on French trains...magnifique! Also I loved travelling round the Netherlands by train...both systems working like clockwork and dead on time. I know you can glide slowly through Kent to the Chunnel then come out half an hour later and zoom through France like a bat out of hell! ;-) Nice if we could have a railway Utopia....or any kind of Utopia. Ever heard of pipe dreams? ;-) ... that maybe boring....we should thrive on challenges.
Brit humour? Where shall be start? Hey, when's the festival? I'll gather up some funnies....
If the "British way of driving" had been adopted in the US then you would never have had a problem with the London buses...those big six wheeler, scarlet plated, London Transport, diesel engined, ninety seven horse powered beasties.
Sorry about your mishap, Joanne.....glad nothing bad happened... never ever argue with a London bus...you'll never win! No uses arguing with the driver either.......he probably doesn' speak English :-)
Nah... it was partly our fault! :P We were so exhausted after a turbulent flight from New York that we momentarily forgot where we were and looked the wrong way as we crossed the street... lol
Oh, and I know about arguing with drivers who don't speak a syllable of English! :D I use taxis in Manhattan. Most of my memorable arguments have been with the drivers that have seven consonants in a row in their surnames
Oops, sorry... I meant Damian!
>>Most of my memorable arguments have been with the drivers that have seven consonants in a row in their surnames<<
Seven consonants? Hmmm, let's see... Brdolomski, Grmljavina, Krsmanovic... Believe it or not, these are imaginary but posssible South Slavic names (actually, the last one is a real one). Still, they have only five consonants in a row at best...
So did you actually ask their surnames? Or was this a mild, euphemistic reference to immigrants who you think have come through some sort of a "back door" (i.e. a falsified green card, fake marriages, etc.)? In what ways were they special? Just wondering...