RunRev vs RealBasic (wandered a wee bit off topic)

Lynch, Jonathan BNZ2 at CDC.GOV
Tue Jan 18 12:07:35 EST 2005

I am American - the differences between American English and English English can be quite funny.

Warning - This story is a wee bit risque, for the easily offended, but is very funny.

I have a friend who worked in the U.K. for a few months. When she first got there, she wore her waist pack to work. This is a thing that wraps around your hips and has a pouch for carrying stuff. One day she she had set it down, and was looking for it. When she could not find it, she started asking her colleagues if they had seen it. Specifically, she kept asking everyone if they had seen her "fanny pack" - which is a perfectly acceptable term for a waist pack in the United States. In the U.S., the term "fanny" is a mostly non-offensive term for a person's bum.

She just couldn't understand why the entire office was laughing at her. The way she tells it, some of her office mates were practically on the floor, laughing so hard they could not breathe.

Well, apparently, the term "fanny" in the U.K. does not refer to the bum, it refers to a woman's clitoris. After they were able to speak, they informed her of exactly what she was saying, and she was so embarrassed she thought she would just die.

I guess the lesson is to be careful of those little translation errors as quickly as possible when visiting other countries.

For English folk visiting the United States, if you wish to smoke (a habit I strongly advise quitting), please do not go around asking people for a fag - you might not get what you were expecting.


-----Original Message-----
From: use-revolution-bounces at [mailto:use-revolution-bounces at] On Behalf Of Thomas Gutzmann
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 11:40 AM
To: How to use Revolution
Subject: Re: RunRev vs RealBasic

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 11:06:16 -0500
  "Lynch, Jonathan" <BNZ2 at CDC.GOV> wrote:
>>The problem with large class libraries is that (with a bit of 
>>exaggeration) only the developer understands them, and when they are 
>>very large, with many subclasses, he will only understand them until 
>>he's got nuts.
> Um... This is one of those odd cliché translation sort of things... Really kinda funny, but just 
>FYI -  The English phrase would be "until he's gone nuts" - the odds are that 'he' has already 
>got nuts, regardless of the state of his current mental health.

Thank you for the correction - life is dangerous for nonnatives.

I remember to other traps:

- an English colleague bringing me back to the hotel asked me if we were near. I didn't understand 
why he laughed when I asked him to drive me round the bend.

- in my very first meeting in England I had to explain that I was self-employed (at that time). 
One possible German word which sprang up to my mind was "Unternehmer". "Unter" is "under", 
"nehmen" is "to take", but I was definitely no undertaker - and the auditorium was amused.

I was also told to avoid "on the job" in certain cases.

I'm glad that most English people I know are very tolerant and polite.

Thomas G.
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