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 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

As a Brit there are plenty of words and expressions which are used in the US which I puzzle over, such as the word "math" instead of "maths". But at this time of year especially, I keep seeing references to the forthcoming "holidays" whereas in Britain we talk about the forthcoming "Christmas". Over here, one would say "Are you going home for Christmas?". One wouldn't say "Are you going home for the holidays".

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Without getting into the no no area of politics and religion "Holiday" was adopted by some because we recognize there are more than one holiday observed during the "Christmas" season.

Edit: I would add we bundle New Years Day into the holiday season.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Happy Hanukkah, Doug.

The big confusing one is naming children 'Randy' which means something entirely different over here.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 5:01 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

To me, "maths" sounds odd! big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 6:01 PM   
 By:   betenoir   (Member)

Without getting into the no no area of politics and religion "Holiday" was adopted by some because we recognize there are more than one holiday observed during the "Christmas" season.

Edit: I would add we bundle New Years Day into the holiday season.


Nowadays it is partly the "political correctness" aspect of being exclusionary to non-Christians, but your edit actually hits the mark. The expression was in use here long before political correctness came along and just referred to the week with both Christmas and New Year's.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 6:13 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

We also say Merry Christmas... for a long time I didn't know there was another expression (e.g. Happy) I like MERRY! smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 6:21 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Without getting into the no no area of politics and religion "Holiday" was adopted by some because we recognize there are more than one holiday observed during the "Christmas" season.

Edit: I would add we bundle New Years Day into the holiday season.


Nowadays it is partly the "political correctness" aspect of being exclusionary to non-Christians, but your edit actyually hits the mark. The expression was in use here long before political correctness came along and just referred to the week with both Christmas and New Year's.


Very true.

And how could I forget...


 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 6:56 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I'm American and I've never used the term, holiday, to describe Christmas. I would say, I'm going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or New Year or July 4th or Memorial Day, etc. I also say Merry Christmas. It's of zero consequence to me whether you celebrate it or not. I still wish you a Merry Christmas. Nothing wrong in wishing someone a merry Christmas day. Everyone going out of their way to avoid saying Christmas, is lunacy. My favorite is "Holiday Tree". Ridiculous!

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Could "holiday" sound more strange to British people because they also use it to refer to what we Americans always call a "vacation"?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 9:45 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

But at this time of year especially, I keep seeing references to the forthcoming "holidays" whereas in Britain we talk about the forthcoming "Christmas."

It use to just mean the fact that, for the US, the last three months of the year had a few major holidays in a row: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. The last two especially where what generally comprised "the holidays." However, as the War on Christmas has really taken off over the last decade or so, "holiday" has began replacing "Christmas" in many aspects. Which is strange, because something like 96-98% of the population celebrates Christmas. Many stores even instruct their employees to wish customers "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," out of fear of offending the small number of people who don't celebrate Christmas and who are likely to raise a stink about being wished a Merry Christmas, instead of just simply smiling and moving on. Fortunately, in smaller communities like where I live, you're likely to still hear Merry Christmas, which is always nice.

As a Brit there are plenty of words and expressions which are used in the US which I puzzle over, such as the word "math" instead of "maths."

That's a new one to me. I've never heard "maths," which sounds strange to my ears.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 9:49 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

However, as the War on Christmas has really taken off over the last decade or so...

Since several of you intend on making this political, (tink, tink, tink) there is no war on Christmas. roll eyes

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

But at this time of year especially, I keep seeing references to the forthcoming "holidays" whereas in Britain we talk about the forthcoming "Christmas".

Unless, of course, you live in Britain and don't celebrate Christmas for whatever reason.

 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 1:07 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

I'm British and say "Christmas holidays". Most non-Christians don't have a problem with referencing Christmas.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 2:22 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Could "holiday" sound more strange to British people because they also use it to refer to what we Americans always call a "vacation"?

That's true. In Britain we do associate "holiday" with the annual summer break. We don't use the word vacation.

 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 3:23 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

I'm British and say "Christmas holidays". Most non-Christians don't have a problem with referencing Christmas.

Indeed, I don't actually know ANY that do, other than the very few twats that get pointed out in the Daily Mail, and then they are almost always misquoted (such as the "Winterval" idiocy)...

There are several reasons for this, the most major one being the massive distinction between being a christian, and living in a country built on a predominantly christian culture...but I won't go into the rest here...I'm a raving Atheist and I say "Merry Christmas" and I see no reason why I shouldn't? And it's nice when people say it to me too...

[/derail]

Can I add my own confusing Americanism in? "Gas"...it's not "Gas", it's Petrol...so why "Gas"?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 3:38 AM   
 By:   Rexor   (Member)

That's true. In Britain we do associate "holiday" with the annual summer break. We don't use the word vacation.


Wait, what is this annual summer break you refer to? Unfortunately, we only have two holidays in the summer, Independence Day and Labor Day.


-Rex


PS: Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Merry Holidays to all. big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 3:48 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

...
Can I add my own confusing Americanism in? "Gas"...it's not "Gas", it's Petrol...so why "Gas"?


That reminds me of our sole (never to be repeated) vacation smile to Florida ... August 2003: we'd driven to one of the alligator parks and, being very low on petrol (!), I should have filled-up before entering. No matter: we'd seen a few petrol stations close by so thought we'd wait ...

... only to find the exit we took was the opposite side of the park! I stopped to asked the attendant where the nearest petrol station was only to be met by a blank stare. I'd forgotten to use the word Gas and he appeared not to know what I was asking for. We ended up driving on fumes and doing a quick U-turn at an intersection when we finally spotted a petrol station on the far-side of a "dual carriage-way".

Surely Gas is the abbreviation of Gasoline?

One of the Americanisms I find hard to understand is the illogical date format mm/dd/yy. Is this simply historical or is there any reason for this format? It appears illogical to me since, just like an address, you start one end for the detail, the other for the wider picture. Also, in modern day technology, PCs et al., we use the six-digit date reference for many things (such as to add and subtract dates) but you need the number to be in the format yy/mm/dd which is straightforward for us Brits! smile

Just asking!

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 4:10 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)


It use to just mean the fact that, for the US, the last three months of the year had a few major holidays in a row: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

....

I've never heard "maths," which sounds strange to my ears.



Michael, you've mentioned the one Americanism that makes me cringe when I hear it in the UK - saying "New Year's" instead of "New Year's Eve" or "New Year's Day". I always pick up my kids on it, which probably means that it'll be common currency before long.

As for math/maths, it's an abbreviation of mathematics and therefore should follow the plural (in my parochial view, anyway!)

Two nations separated by a common language, indeed...

TG

 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 5:37 AM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2013 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

As for math/maths, it's an abbreviation of mathematics and therefore should follow the plural (in my parochial view, anyway!)

Indeed!!

 
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