Author Topic: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange  (Read 264030 times)

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Spoder

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #120 on: November 18, 2010, 11:06:45 PM »
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)
Aussie here. :)

Treacle is thick, golden-brown, runny sweet stuff. It's very oozy and sugary and can be used to make sticky desserts (or pour over them). It's more a British than Australian thing, though; we have our own version, which is called Golden Syrup and is kind of same-but-different.  :P

Spotted wingadingdingy is also British. It's a pudding made with (I think) raisins/sultanas, hence the 'spots'. We, too, snicker at the name, but nobody makes it here.

In Britain, public schools are exclusive and expensive, compared to government-run schools, that is true. Australia is more like the US; here, a 'public school' is government-funded and every child has the right to a free (sort of) public school education, whereas a private school charges school fees, is usually religious-affiliated, and is more difficult to get into. (In other words, the Aussie private school is the equivalent of a Brit public school - very confusing!)

Topshop is awesome, in my humble opinion. I shopped there lots when I lived in London, and I went back last July, for old times' sake. I still *heart* it. As for overpriced, it probably is, but it seemed pretty reasonable to me (but i do live in the most overpriced city in Australia  :().


jenny_islander

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #121 on: November 18, 2010, 11:16:34 PM »
British bread is less sweet than American bread and has a firmer texture than can actually withstand being spread with butter and other things.

If you want real, filling bread, you generally have to look for the stuff that is baked fresh daily in the bakery section at the supermarket.  It will be marked "old-fashioned," "Renaissance," or "farmstyle."  It generally has less fillers, dough conditioners, and other gunk than Wonder Bread or other balloon breads.  It may not have any corn syrup either.  Because corn is heavily subsidized in the U.S., corn syrup is in EVERYTHING.  Even soup.

Mincemeat was originally the way to use the last, scraggiest bits of the beef carcass.  In Alaska, people still make it with the last of the annual moose.  Most store brands are meatless in the U.S.

A dried currant is a very small raisin.  Fresh currants (red, black, or white) are berries.

I get the impression that British garden = American yard.  Is this correct?

MsMarjorie

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #122 on: November 18, 2010, 11:24:35 PM »

''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

Something I've wondered for a while: does Fran Drescher's show The Nanny air overseas ? And if so, do the tv stations leave in the opening line about "where was she to go, she was out on her fanny" ?

Aussie here

They left the lyrics in - but we snickered like school children every time we heard it.

Another food question - is there really sugar in American Bread?

Also for raisins/currants, we call them sultanas here.


kareng57

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #123 on: November 18, 2010, 11:30:14 PM »
British bread is less sweet than American bread and has a firmer texture than can actually withstand being spread with butter and other things.

If you want real, filling bread, you generally have to look for the stuff that is baked fresh daily in the bakery section at the supermarket.  It will be marked "old-fashioned," "Renaissance," or "farmstyle."  It generally has less fillers, dough conditioners, and other gunk than Wonder Bread or other balloon breads.  It may not have any corn syrup either.  Because corn is heavily subsidized in the U.S., corn syrup is in EVERYTHING.  Even soup.

Mincemeat was originally the way to use the last, scraggiest bits of the beef carcass.  In Alaska, people still make it with the last of the annual moose.  Most store brands are meatless in the U.S.

A dried currant is a very small raisin.  Fresh currants (red, black, or white) are berries.

I get the impression that British garden = American yard.  Is this correct?


Your last sentence - that is indeed correct.  Garden generally = backyard in North America.

camlan

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #124 on: November 18, 2010, 11:34:05 PM »
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

At least through the 1960s, "Mrs. John Smith" was the name on a married woman's visiting cards, and how she'd sign a letter to someone she wasn't close to. It was how you would address a letter to her, as well. Speaking to her, or about her, you'd say, "Mrs. Smith" if you weren't close to her, and "Mary" if you were on a first name basis with each other. What wasn't acceptable was "Mrs. Mary Smith," unless Mary Smith had a job and needed to use this form in business correspondence--the title "Mrs." and a female first name were simply not to be used together. A widow would continue to use "Mrs. John Smith" until she died or remarried. A divorced woman was supposed to use her maiden name plus her married last name. So Mary Jones who married John Smith but then got divorced would use "Mrs. Jones Smith." If she didn't want to use her ex-husband's last name, she could use her maiden name with her mother's maiden name: "Mrs. Brown Jones." (I have no idea where this custom originated, but it is clearly spelled out in Emily Post's Etiquette from 1950.)

So when my mother wrote her weekly letter to her sister, the address on the envelope would read "Mrs. Edward Elton," and the return address would have Mrs. Norman Talbot, but inside, on the letter itself, it would read, "Dear Susie," and be signed "Love, Sally." But Mom would never, ever have addressed the envelope to Susie Elton, or Mrs. Susie Elton.

This was also a time when you didn't rush into calling new acquaintances by their first names right away. You'd "Mrs. Smith" and "Miss Jones" each other, until Mrs. Smith, as the senior of the two women, would ask Miss Jones to call her by her first name. 
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


guihong

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #125 on: November 18, 2010, 11:46:48 PM »
@MsMarjorie-there's very little sugar in white bread, but some breads are sweeter than others.  For instance, cinnamon raisin bread (nom). 

Do you have Sourdough bread there (it is made with a "starter"), or is that exclusively American?

And also, what is a jammie dodger?  Remember the movie "Flushed Away", where Kate Winslet's character lived on a boat called the Jammie Dodger? 

I'll get in trouble for this, but why do the English begin a sentence with "Right,...."?  Is it equivalent to "Well...", or "Um,...."?

gui



RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #126 on: November 19, 2010, 12:09:19 AM »
A jammie dodger is a tasty shortbread cookie sandwich with jam inside.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammie_Dodgers

LadyPekoe

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #127 on: November 19, 2010, 12:13:54 AM »
I am currently eating (as my lunch) a Cheese and Chive Scone.  ;D  Yum!!

One I found out the other day thanks to Reezie/MsMoonBunny is that what we call plaits, the US call braids, and what we call braids, the US call French braids.

Taffy sounds a lot like Toffee to me; is it?  We get these lolly bars called Toffee Apple that are green and pink and can remove teeth with one pull!

I didn't know if this was answered--the whole braiding thing is right :)

Taffy and toffee are different but in the same chewy candy family.  Taffy is a pulled candy.  When Americans say "taffy" they usually mean saltwater taffy.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_water_taffy  

Toffee requires caramelizing sugar and IMO is way closer to caramels than taffy.  Taffy is usually flavored with fruit, chocolate, or licorice.  


Other random points:
I may be the lone American that doesn't like pecan pie or pumpkin pie :)  I do like rice pudding though--and I never bake it, I always make it on the stovetop.  You can buy clotted cream in Whole Foods.  And, at least in Japan, the ice cream (even if it is Haagan-Daz or brands that are avaliable in the US) was far more milk-flavored than it is in the US.  
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WolfWay

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #128 on: November 19, 2010, 01:04:25 AM »
I'll get in trouble for this, but why do the English begin a sentence with "Right,...."?  Is it equivalent to "Well...", or "Um,...."?
From what I can tell, it seems to be a verbal tick that doesn't have too much in the way of actual meaning in the sentence. Less of an "Um" and more of a "Well" or a "So".
 
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WolfWay

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #129 on: November 19, 2010, 01:07:01 AM »
In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 
Aussie here. :)

In Britain, public schools are exclusive and expensive, compared to government-run schools, that is true. Australia is more like the US; here, a 'public school' is government-funded and every child has the right to a free (sort of) public school education, whereas a private school charges school fees, is usually religious-affiliated, and is more difficult to get into. (In other words, the Aussie private school is the equivalent of a Brit public school - very confusing!)
I think if you swap private and public you'll get the difference. What is a public school in Britain (expensive, hard to get into) would be called a private school in America/Australia/South Africa.  What is a private school in Britain would be called a public school in America/Aus/South Africa.
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)

Julia S

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #130 on: November 19, 2010, 01:21:00 AM »
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there?  

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)

I was under the impression Topshop was overpriced and not that great. At least what that's I understood from snarky jokes on my Britcoms

I think you can compare Topshop with H&M, both in price (IIRC) and style. They're both 'seasonal' stores, as in: the clothes will last you a season, then they fall apart at the seams (and they'll be out of fashion). The low quality thing is at least true for H&M (I worked there) and the few items I've bought at Topshop didn't last me very long either. Their 'basic' range is pretty good though, quality/price wise. :)

One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 
It is more a UK thing then an age of building thing though.
In countries just across the North sea, with buildings of an equal age, you will not see this.
I am from '74 and I had hardly ever seen any of them before my first visit to the UK.

While I grew up (in Holland; I'm from '77) in a house with a mixed tap in the kitchen, our bathroom sink had separate taps. We also didn't have central heating, double glazing or insulated walls. Our house was definitely an exception, I know nobody else who ever lived in a house like that in Holland (except ManInTheShadows; after moving out of my parents' house, I swore I'd never live in a house like that again; a year later I moved in with Man only to freeze my a**e off yet again ::))

I think Dutch home owners started upgrading their houses a lot earlier (and more thorough) than British home owners. Those kind of projects here in the UK seem to be more 'patched', i.e. install CH and leave the fireplace, but block the chimney; retile the bathroom, but don't upgrade the pipes and taps; whereas in Holland people tend to tackle whole areas at once and completely.
Our flat has a mixed tap in the kitchen, but not a very good one: you can feel the different streams ("Ouch! Hot!" "Oi! Cold!" "Ouch! Hot again!"). Taps in the bathroom are separate.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #131 on: November 19, 2010, 02:15:50 AM »
Since terminology is part of the discussion, "shag" is not only a type of rug and a term used by Austin Powers, but is a swing dancing variant that I first heard of as being popular in the Carolinas during the 1950s and 1960s.  I learned how to dance the shag at my cousin's 16th birthday party, but I don't remember how to do it now.  

It's a "slot dance" - a variation of swing dancing, but designed to be done in very crowded places (like at a beach party) where you and your partner have a "slot" in the crowd and that's about all the space you get.  It's got many of the same moves as swing dancing, but you don't rotate - you occasionally switch places with your partner, but you stay in the same narrow little rectangle of floor space.  The movements are also more controlled than swing dancing, and IIRC the whole thing is based around being able to hold a drink in one hand the whole time you're dancing too  :P

veryfluffy

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #132 on: November 19, 2010, 02:18:03 AM »
In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

In the depths of time, the children of  wealthy aristrocrats were educated by private tutored, and there were no schools for anyone else at all. Eventually, the sons of merchants and gentryfolk also needed education, and "public schools" were set up.  Of course you had to pay to send your sons there. Still later, when the masses needed some basic reading and writing too, and a system of state schools was established.
   

M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #133 on: November 19, 2010, 02:55:04 AM »
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??

WolfWay

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #134 on: November 19, 2010, 04:07:37 AM »
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??

google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala

"The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes."

So... both?  ;D (I suspect "creamy" is more dominant than tomatoey, or it has been in the South African variants I've tasted).
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)