Regional vocabulary differences
I would say a flat's a flat and an apartment's an apartment. I couldn't describe the difference, but I'd know it when I saw it. Usually the age of the building has a lot to do with it (but it's a necessary but not sufficient condition for apartment-hood). If it's "not above ground floor", then it's a unit, not a flat.
To me an "ice block" is a block of ice. An iced-lolly would be called an icy-pole, which is a trademark but no-one cares.
I say "soft drink" (the way Americans say "soda" with the back O it sounds like "Solo".)
Freeways, unless they're tolled, when they're tollways (or, of course, if they're highways, when they're highways). Eggplant, not aubergine. Chicken is dead stuff you've either cooked or plan to cook, like beef; the living creatures are chooks. Capsicum, not peppers. (Chicken and pepper are two words I have great difficulty in pluralising, because they're not count nouns in my dialect.)
But do you say capsicums?
<<I was under the impression that freeway only refers to interstate highways, so if it doesn't have an "I" in the name (I-10, I-25), it ain't a freeway....>>
Not as the phrase is used here in California. There are plenty of freeways which aren't interstates. See my explanation below.
<<The term "freeway" is used to refer to all restricted access highways around here, even if they are not interstates per se; for example, the term is used to refer to highway 45, which, while not being an interstate per se, still has the same form as them, and which does directly link into the interstate highway system.>>
Yeah, I use the term "freeway" as a general term for all restricted-access (no at-grade crossings) high-speed highways. Sometimes I may also call the freeway by its number.
"yesterday when we were on the freeway we saw two orange Civic hybrids"
This is a very typical example of how I might give someone instructions on getting somewhere using a few San Diego freeways:
"just take the 5 south to the 52 east, then take the 805 south to the 8 east..."
In that case, three of the freeways are interstates (I-5, I-805, and I-8), while 52 isn't, yet they're all restricted-access highways I call freeways.
One interesting regional difference is that in the San Francisco Bay Area, the term "freeway" is still generally used as in So-Cal, yet when people refer to the number of the freeways they don't usually preface it with "the." So in referring to freeways there, they usually say things like "take 680 north to 580 east."
Yes, Kirk, I have yet to get used to that and I've been here in the Bay Area for a year now. However, I still speak the English I learned in Miami.
By the way, does it really make sense to call them FREEWAYS if that are restricted access highways? Well, all the freeways around here are free. In Miami, there's no such thing as a freeway. Not that none of our roads or highways aren't free, but the word is just not used.
I am sure this has been done before, but:
Stop light(s)/ Red/Green/Yellow light
Autumn AND Fall
Highway (Miami)/Freeway(Bay Area)
I can measure distance in both time and miles. Time is easier for me though, I have to say.
"By the way, does it really make sense to call them FREEWAYS if that are restricted access highways?"
By the way, does it really make sense to call them FREEWAYS if they are restricted access highways?
<<By the way, does it really make sense to call them FREEWAYS if that are restricted access highways?>>
Of course, because you can drive freely without ever having to stop for an intersection :)
<<Well, all the freeways around here are free. In Miami, there's no such thing as a freeway. Not that none of our roads or highways aren't free, but the word is just not used.>>
I think the "free" part of "freeway" refers to its design (since it's free of intersections), not its cost, altho free freeways are the absolute norm here, you're right. I'd consider it ridiculous to have to pay to get on the freeway (that is, even if I found a toll road, which are mostly nonexistent in California), but I know it's much more common on the East Coast.
Ahhh! Ok, I guess since I didn't grow up with freeways, it never occured to ey that the design might be what the "free" was referring to. And indeed, onthe east coast there are many, many toll roads. I was very pleasantly surprised about that when I moved here. But I guess they take it out of the sky high sales tax that applies to EVERYTHING.
A flat is indeed a flat, but an "apartment" is a unit.
Depends which state you come from - can be freeway, motorway, highway. I tend to say freeway or highway I think. Motorway is more of a NSW thing.
yes, capsicum is peppers. Rockmelon is cantaloupe.
Apartment sounds like more of a classy thing, like a penthouse but an apartment is just an American name for a flat. I think they really are the same thing.
"To me an "ice block" is a block of ice. An iced-lolly would be called an icy-pole, which is a trademark but no-one cares."
An icy-pole like you say is just a brand is also an ice-block. Any flavoured ice is an ice-block, even those thin blocks surronded totally by plastic that you need to remove the top off such as sunny boys, supadoopas, funnyfaces, razzes etc.
Sorry should be rockmelon is cantaloupe
Uriel, I do indeed say "capsicums" if I want to talk about more than one. I've never heard anyone try to say "capsica", but now that I think of it I want to :)
Frances, I have to stress I'm completely unfamiliar with your use of "ice block". "Icy-pole" is just like "band-aid"* or "glad wrap"** or "eski"***. They're trade marks, but no-one cares. "Icy-pole" is what you call the flavored**** things; "ice blocks" are just blocks of ice you've pulled from the freezer. Until today (when I heard of your usage), if I'd asked for an ice block and you gave me something colored and flavored, I would've looked at it and asked you what I was meant to do with it.
BTW: I can never remember. Is "rockmelon" the American word, or the Australian? (I always say "cantaloupe", but that doesn't mean anything.) What do Brits call them?
Oh, also Fairy-floss! I think that's cotton-candy in America and something completely different in Britain.
* I believe that's international standard.
** I believe Americans call that "Saran wrap", but I probably have the spelling wrong
*** Kiwis call them "chilly bins" (or rather, "chully buns"). I have no idea which word is more common in the world at large.
**** There's a long tradition of spelling these words this way in Australia, much longer than using the awful spelling "programme".
<<Oh, also Fairy-floss! I think that's cotton-candy in America and something completely different in Britain.>>
Candy floss (nice name! :)
Felix: Ice Block - Really? Could this be a regionalism? I just assumed everyone here used that. I do occasionally to hear "icy-pole" be used to call flavoured blocks of ice (but only the open ones on wooden flat sticks not the ones covered in plastic) and I would occasionally use it too but I would call them more often than an ice block. To me, a part of ice that comes out from an ice tray is "a block of ice". Semanitically silly but true :)
I think rockmelon is English, only because I remember a number of years ago a song called Canteloupe by some American Rappers (oh what was their name?!)
Here are some differences between British English and American English.
US one are on the top, UK ones are underneath.
loo or WC
US..guy (From Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the King and the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605, and which we commemorate every 5th November [today] with fireworks and bonfires)
I'm with Frances on these.
A generic word exists and it's in popular use: "ice-block". Icy-pole is as specific as Calypso.
Ice that comes out from an ice tray is "a block of ice".
I use "rockmelon". I rarely encouter "cantaloupe", except on American shows.
Inverted commas seems ambiguous. I prefer "quotation marks" when quoting someone and it's more logical.