Harry Potter and other books - Americanized!

Guest   Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:54 pm GMT
<A group of bright americans aged 14- 15 took an english exam paper of basic english. (mixed sex)
This was english oral, text and spelling.
The paper came back and all 40 children had failed the test. 0% passrate.
The problem was the paper was for a child aged 11 in the UK.
The same test was given to 40 English kids and the pass rate was 97% with combined exams of oral, spell, and text.
(all boys) 11 year old.>

I would myself would look at other factors such as the ecomonic background of the students, the school system in detail, etc. Simply stating that Americans are simply behind the British students is simply narrow minded.

One thing I noticed the British test was completed in a catholic school from exprience I personally have found catholic schools are better gaining higher marks than public/state schools.
Guest   Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:59 pm GMT
I read a study that said 50 British children who were 10 years old couldn't read the word "catastrophe".
Guest   Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:14 pm GMT
and also they had exprience dental health problems.
Guest   Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:55 pm GMT
>>Not being catty. I am just stating the truth. Aluminum may have the advantage of brevity but it falls short in consistency.<<

Like I said the second time, it's the other way around: aluminium not aluminum was the one chosen for its consistency with more such spellings. Aluminum predates aluminium so brevity has nothing to do with it.


1812, coined by Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), from L. alumen "alum" (see alum). Davy originally called it alumium (1808), then amended this to aluminum, which remains the U.S. word, but British editors in 1812 further amended it to aluminium, the modern preferred British form, to better harmonize with other element names (sodium, potassium, etc.).
Ben   Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:49 pm GMT
Tiffany: I don't see how you can contest its claims about being inconsistent. The number of Group I elements with a -ium ending alone is more than those ending in -ium.
Pete   Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:16 pm GMT
<<See this is exactly what i mean by the American's have to much pride in themselves... Hello reality check British people invented the language.>>

Yes this is true, the British invented the language. However, Americans, Canadias, Australians, and the rest of the countries also use the language. And as language users, they also have their right to invent shits and speak the language the way they want to. Inventing the language does NOT give you any exclusivity right, no.

But you can't pretend other people that, because this or that form is widely used in your country, should accept it as correct in the rest of the world and mark the other forms as wrong. That is just absurd.

For example in Spanish, you have the word "pendejo" (pen - deh - hoh). In Spain (like in many other countries), it means: stupid, clumsy, coward. But here in Peru, it means: clever, smart, naughty boy, brave. Some linguists claim Peru and Colombia to speak the purest Latinamerican Spanish dialects, then should I pretend Mexicans or Chileans to use "pendejo" the same way we do? I reckon the answer is obvious... An inmense NO.

<<How? The only consistent ending I see on the Periodic Table of Elements is -um as the last two letters. "Aluminum" meets that.>>

Latin - Aluminium or Aluminum(presumably)
Spanish - Aluminio
Galego - Aluminio
Portuguese - Alumínio
Italian - Alluminio
Catalan - Alumini
Asturian - Aluminiu
FRENCH - Aluminium

As most Romance languages followed the trend of adapting the "ium" ending to their own phonemic systems, we may tend to think that in Latin the word was ALUMINIUM. However we can't be sure, just have a look at the Catalan word. If this were right, then as scientific terms in English usually come from Latin, it's appropiate to say "Aluminium".

But if all the above said is crap, then I have another theory, in French they write "Aluminium" (don't know how the say it). So, it's possible that, as ever, the British copied this spelling from French, when the original spelling was "Aluminum".

Anyway, those are my ideas, what do you think?
Tiffany   Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:26 pm GMT
The guest above you is not me. I can claim they all consistently end with -um, because most of them do. This means that ALL the elements end with -ium, end with -um too as the last two letters are consistent. Understand? "Magnesium" ends in "um". That's why "aluminum" is consistent with the periodic table because the only consistent ending among all elements is -um.

Of course, silver and gold are there too, but they have scientific names right? Oh well, can't blame anyone for trying.

Pete - you might be onto something... ;)
Llorenna   Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:42 pm GMT
I don't think the spelling ''through'' is non-standard.
On my Mastercard, I can see VALID THRU and not VALID THROUGH
And I'm from Spain.
Llorenna   Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:44 pm GMT
I don't think the spelling ''thru'' is non-standard.
On my Mastercard, I can see VALID THRU and not VALID THROUGH
And I'm from Spain.
Guest   Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:21 am GMT
>>Hello reality check British people invented the language.<<
>>Yes this is true, the British invented the language. <<

That's a childish way of relating to this discussion as those "inventors" aren't the British of today who speak their own form of English. It's like saying the Romans invented much of the English language because of the high number of Latinates.
Uriel   Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:46 pm GMT
Well, let me put it this way: nobody would write "thru" on a serious school assignment or for a major publication. That's the standard I'm talking about. What McDonald's chooses to put on its signage is its own business....

Rick, perhaps you might be amused to learn that here in New Mexico up until recently we had "drive-thru" liquor store windows... and as NM has one of the highest drunk-driving (I believe you would call it "drink-driving")rates in the nation, that might have been literal in a few cases!
Guest   Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:12 pm GMT
<<Rick, perhaps you might be amused to learn that here in New Mexico up until recently we had "drive-thru" liquor store windows... and as NM has one of the highest drunk-driving (I believe you would call it "drink-driving")rates in the nation, that might have been literal in a few cases!>>

Yeah, "drive-thru" liquor stores (or bottle shops as the Aussies call them) also seem to be quite popular in Aus. I haven't seen any in Britain, but I have occasionally thought about looking into opening one!
Damian in London N2   Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:00 pm GMT
Literal smash time "drive throughs" (sorry...I won't use the other version) of liquor store* windows here in the UK is called ram raiding....usually done in the wee small hours of the morning.

*We very rarely use the term "liquor stores"...in fact, we hardy ever use the word "liquor" when referring to booze. Those terms seem to be mostly used on the other side of the Atlantic...probably in Canada as well for all I know.

Stores that primarily sell alcohol are called off-licenses in the UK. Licenses to sell alcohol are granted by the respective local authorities, and the vast majority are granted to pubs, hotels, restaurants and other establishments where booze is sold to the public.

Retail establishments which sell only alcohol (as well as all the other secondary goodies that usually go with a tipple) are granted "off premises" licenses, or "off licenses" as they are known, and as the stores themselves are known.
Damian in London N2   Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:21 pm GMT
***I also like a lot the ultra-british accent of actor Edward Fox, who always plays the role of aristocrats, colonial officers, butlers etc.***

Edward Fox is the brother of James Fox....the former played the part of The Jackal, as in "The Day of....." and the latter the part of a mega aristocratic milksop in The Servant, a weird old b&w film featuring Dirk Bogarde playing a sinister man servant to this ineffective gentleman who came under the influence of his "gentleman's gentleman".

Anyway, forget about those two Foxes and concentrate on Edward's son, Laurence:


He is so cool! A wee while back he was in a TV series set on the island of Jersey (Channel Islands) during WW2, the islands being the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazi Germans.

Laurence Fox played the part of one of the occupying Nazi German officers who fell in love with a local girl, who was British of course. Collaborating with the occupying enemy at that time was very much despised and after the war such girls were very harshly treated, but affairs of the heart does strange things to people.

Oh...on topis....J K Rowling...she is English (from Gloucestershire) but lived in Edinburgh for a long time where she wrote her earlier books....now she lives in grand style in the glories of the Perthshire countryside...still in Scotland. :-)
Tiffany   Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:00 pm GMT
<<Stores that primarily sell alcohol are called off-licenses in the UK.>>

Interesting Damian! I learn something new everyday. What do you use the word "liquor" for? It can't be archaic there!