Once upon a time, I spent a great deal of mental effort making sure to choose the right words and phrases before they came out of my mouth. It wore me out. I finally realized that, because I’ve moved from the US to the UK, and not the other way around, and particularly because I’m living in the friendly place I do, I’m surrounded by people who will just understand my meaning and roll with it, instead of doing that stereotypical American thing of demanding the immigrant to perfectly fit in, berating and shaming them if they don’t. Sometimes my friends and I don’t understand each other, but we just ask nicely; whoever was speaking will explain, and it’s all okay, really. It’s not the horrible thing I feared it would be. So now I just use whatever words come to mind, and I’m so much less worn out when I converse with friends, which is as it should be.
I do, however, still notice the differing word choices, and you’ve seen me include the translations here when I feel it’s appropriate, since I have readers on both sides of that vast ocean*. I’ve decided to start a page collecting up some of these words and phrases, with the best translations I can think of for them, linking to blog entries where I more fully explore their meanings and connotations – as I know them so far! Eventually, once more content is added, you’ll be able to check that page for a translation if you’re not sure.
I’m a little on the fence about the name for that page (ironically). It’ll certainly have translations, such as sick/ill/poorly/puny, so it could be called Translations. However, it may also serve as a repository for words and phrases specific to me / me & Chris / Glossop / Derbyshire, such as “When I were alive.” In that latter case, it feels more like a Glossary. For now, I’ve decided to take Chris’ suggestion and call it Words Of Interest, without the audio file that plays it in a booming god-voice everytime you look at the phrase (we concluded that’d be annoying). Anyway, so the name might change (or not), but you’ll surely be able to figure out what it is on the menu bar.
Oh yes, and finally: sometimes I may put tongue-in-cheek translations on this new page.
* I’ve decided: Anyone who thinks it’s just a pond has clearly never flown over it, or listened to Jan Meek talk about rowing across it. It’s a 24-hour day with three separate flights each time I fly to my parents’, and then the same again to come home. It’s an ocean.