A Torch? Or a Flashlight?

I’ve been watching The Life of Mammals, a BBC mini-series by David Attenborough.  I started with The Life of Birds, which is also what David started with, and now I’m almost done with the mammals.  Life in the Undergrowth, about invertebrates, is next, but I’ll have to wait until it’s available streaming from Netflix.  (That’s how I’ve watched the other two.)

As it is a British documentary and I am American, there are occasionally fun word moments.  The two that struck me tonight were his pronunciation of “sloth” (slowth instead of the slawth) and his referring to a flashlight as a torch.  My sister had some interesting stories about different terms when she came back from England.  I find it very interesting that two versions of English can have such a variety of terms and pronunciations.

There are tells in books, too.  If there’s a “u” in color or favorite, than the book was probably written and published in the UK.  If that’s the case, and a character is carrying a torch, there’s a good chance that it’s battery-powered.  🙂

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. deshipley
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 19:21:44

    Having been exposed to a good deal of British media, over the years (Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie mysteries, the “Confessions of Georgia Nicholson” YA chick-lit comedy series…), there are a lot of British mannerisms that my mind tends to take for granted. And yet, if I were ever to write a British character, how much do you want to bet I’d screw up basic things like the insertion of “u”s and calling a torch a flashlight? Jumpers called sweaters, bangers called sausages, the loo called the restroom… I’d know better, but the first draft wouldn’t know it! 😛

    Reply

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