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Andy @ Allerton

Creeping Americanization and English er ation..

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This still is going on and I've noticed not just one way - there are some English words (cars for instance) that are making their way over there. You might argue that some Americans have used 'Car' to denote an 'Automobile' for years but usually when mentioned I heard Automobile or Auto used - whereas I've heard several instances where I've heard a few English words on American shows - proof that words are going back and forth or that the writer is English (or American)

 

Are there any English words that you use in America that are 'new' (There used to be an American version and you use the English one) - if you're American (And not an ex-pat) and are there any American words you use in Britain (and also aren't ex-US)

 

There are some pretty obvious ones - heard many British people using 'Guy' or 'Guys' to denote a person or a group of people of either sex. I've also heard 'Elevator' when people are talking about a lift. And, as mentioned, I've heard Car used more in American series' where a decade back you wouldn't hear it (or I didn't notice it)

 

Any other examples of words going back and forth that are in 'normal' use over what might have been used previously?

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Has anybody ever, anywhere used automobile to denote a car in casual conversation ?

 

 

Not thesedays, which is kind of the point. I'm going off American TV shows and Films where the word Automobile has been used, certainly 80s and 90s films. Not often you hear it nowdays. Maybe it was never used by Americans in casual conversation.

 

It's interesting that the original word came from the French 1865-70;

 

adj.

1883, in reference to electric traction cars, from French automobile (adj.), 1861, a hybrid from Greek autos "self" (see auto- ) + French mobile "moving," from Latin mobilis "movable" (see mobile (adj.)).

 

n.

"self-propelled motor vehicle," 1895, from French automobile, short for véhicule automobile (see automobile (adj.)). The modern Greek calls it autokineto "moved of itself." The French word had competition in the early years from locomobile ; in English other early forms were motorcar and autocar.

 

 

 

There are several European and American companies that use Auto or automobile in their advertising even today. It's not a rare word - if someone said Auto or Automobile to you, referencing a car, then I doubt you'd evidence confusion about what it meant.

Edited by Andy @ Allerton

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Has anybody ever, anywhere used automobile to denote a car in casual conversation ?

 

Americans might use it in a formal/faux-formal manner, aping police lingo, but defo not in casual use.

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It's interesting as well that a definition of car (From the free dictionary) has it's first definition as..

 

car (kär)

n.

1. An automobile.

2. A vehicle, such as a streetcar, that runs on rails: a railroad car.

3. A boxlike enclosure for passengers and freight on a conveyance: an elevator car.

4. The part of a balloon or airship that carries people and cargo.

5. Archaic A chariot, carriage, or cart.

 

 

 

And

 

car (k??)

n

1. (Automotive Engineering)

a. Also called: motorcar or automobile a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine

b. (as modifier): car coat.

2. a conveyance for passengers, freight, etc, such as a cable car or the carrier of an airship or balloon

3. (Railways) Brit a railway vehicle for passengers only, such as a sleeping car or buffet car

4. (Railways) US and Canadian a railway carriage or van

5. US the enclosed platform of a lift

6. a poetic word for chariot

 

 

 

A few American dictionaries I've had a look at mention Auto and Automobile as their first entries. The English ones (Oxford for instance) doesn't mention Auto or Automobile at all

 

Definition of car in English:

NOUN

 

1A road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal-combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people:

we’re going by car

[AS MODIFIER]: a car crash

MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES

SYNONYMS

1.1A railway carriage or (North American ) wagon:

the first-class cars

MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES

SYNONYMS

1.2The passenger compartment of a lift, cableway, or balloon:

he was in the lift when the car stuck

MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES

1.3 literary A chariot.

MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES

Origin

 

late middle english (in the general sense 'wheeled vehicle'): from Old Northern French carre, based on Latin carrum, carrus, of Celtic origin.

Edited by Andy @ Allerton

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"certainly 80s and 90s films" like what?

 

 

Trains, Plane and Automobiles (1987)

 

Uses it in the script as well "Then give me a f***ing automobile."

 

 

Used Cars (1980)

 

"Shall we examine the capacious interior of this luxury automobile?"

"Now, son, you're looking at one of the finest automobiles on this lot."

"Behind me is the automobile business at its absolute worst."

"This is roy l. Fuchs, pre-owned automobiles."

 

 

Vacation (1983)

 

"This is the new Wagonqueen Family Truckster. This is a fine automobile"

"this is the automobile you should be using."

"This is your automobile"

"And he, he shouldn't even have a license to drive an automobile. He should be behind bars!"

 

 

Ferris Buellers Day Off (1986)

 

"A man with such priorities doesn't deserve this fine automobile"

 

 

 

For instance

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Have another look at your second example.

 

Planes Trains and Automobiles: I want a f***ing car right f***ing now.

 

Ferris Bueller: I killed the car.

 

Vacation: I don't wanna stay in the car any more

 

For instance.

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Have another look at your second example.

 

Planes Trains and Automobiles: I want a f***ing car right f***ing now.

 

Ferris Bueller: I killed the car.

 

Vacation: I don't wanna stay in the car any more

 

For instance.

 

 

Indeed. But he also said Automobile. Your original suggestion is that there were no 80s or 90s films that did. I've heard 'Car' used as well plenty of times in American films. I've never heard a British person in a film say 'Automobile' unless they are quoting a name..

 

More for you as well

 

 

Cars (2006)

 

"Fillmore: You know, some automotive yoga could really lower your RPMs, man."

 

Sixteen Candles (1984)

 

"Dong. Where is my automobile?"

 

 

Shawshank Redemption (1994)

 

"I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere."

 

 

Pulp Fiction (1994)

 

"What's more chickens*** than f***ing with a man's automobile? I mean, don't f*** with another man's vehicle."

 

The Big Lewinsky

 

"We've recovered your vehicle. It can be claimed at the North Hollywood Auto Circus there on Victory."

 

My Cousin Vinny (1992)

 

"Out of work hairdresser. Now, in what way does that qualify you as an expert in automobiles."

"You're Honor, Miss Vito's expertise is in general automotive knowledge"

"Alright, alright. Now, Miss Vito, being an expert on general automotive knowledge"

 

 

 

Also - if you read film scripts, many references to cars are actually referred to as Automobiles. Far, far too many to list. But google is your friend.

Edited by Andy @ Allerton

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You're off your head. You suggested they didn't used to say "car" very much. But they always did. There has been no change in that respect.

 

I think you need to provide more evidence. When you say there has been no change, you think, then, that car has always been used from the off in the US and that automobile has never been in general usage?

 

In programmes from the 50s and 60s and maybe 70s I'm pretty sure I've heard "Automobile" a fair bit. A few times in the 80s and 90s and nowdays it's a pretty rare thing to hear. That says to me that there does seem to have been a slight shift in language. Where did 'car' come from? Was it re-invented by the Americans or did it appear due to British films and Brits moving to and living in America?

Edited by Andy @ Allerton

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You're off your head. You suggested they didn't used to say "car" very much. But they always did. There has been no change in that respect.

 

You seem surprised.

 

I think you need to provide more evidence. When you say there has been no change, you think, then, that car has always been used from the off in the US and that automobile has never been in general usage?

 

I think the point is that both are in general usage and have been long enough for your premise that this is a relatively new phenomena to be demonstrably false.

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You seem surprised.

 

 

 

I think the point is that both are in general usage and have been long enough for your premise that this is a relatively new phenomena to be demonstrably false.

 

 

I think the point is that language is and always has been mutable. The increasing globalisation (or globalization if you prefer) of media will eventually ensure that all languages will interact and evolve.

Edited by Andy @ Allerton

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This still is going on and I've noticed not just one way - there are some English words (cars for instance) that are making their way over there. You might argue that some Americans have used 'Car' to denote an 'Automobile' for years but usually when mentioned I heard Automobile or Auto used - whereas I've heard several instances where I've heard a few English words on American shows - proof that words are going back and forth or that the writer is English (or American)

 

Are there any English words that you use in America that are 'new' (There used to be an American version and you use the English one) - if you're American (And not an ex-pat) and are there any American words you use in Britain (and also aren't ex-US)

 

There are some pretty obvious ones - heard many British people using 'Guy' or 'Guys' to denote a person or a group of people of either sex. I've also heard 'Elevator' when people are talking about a lift. And, as mentioned, I've heard Car used more in American series' where a decade back you wouldn't hear it (or I didn't notice it)

 

Any other examples of words going back and forth that are in 'normal' use over what might have been used previously?

 

 

'“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”'

Henry Ford, 1909

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car and auto are used interchangeably in conversation and often in adverts too. not that I claim to have anywhere near the knowledge of American society and culture that Andy does with his massive exposure to it.

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'“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”'

Henry Ford, 1909

 

 

Interesting one. How American was Ford really given he was first generation.

 

His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland, to a family that was originally from Somerset, England. (WIKIPEDIA)

 

I can't find any cases where he used 'Automobile' (Though perhaps he did and I can't find it)

 

After what generation did 'The American Language' kick in? You'd imagine that back then people like Ford would have been taught by family or people brought in to teach? Where did they come from? As mentioned earlier, Automobile came from the French description, but Ford was of Irish/English descent.

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I think the point is that language is and always has been mutable. The increasing globalisation (or globalization if you prefer) of media will eventually ensure that all languages will interact and evolve.

 

Your point implied the US use of car was a recent phenomena, it was making its way over there, when the truth is it's been in general usage for years. No one is denying that language is mutable they are denying the example you've used is in anyway recent.

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