Monday, August 9, 2010

Lakes

This is another blog of several brief items about different meanings of words used in the UK and the US.

For years, I have been alternately amused and irritated because Americans visiting England talk about "the Lake Country". Just about everyone in the UK knows this area as the "Lake District".

I shall probably go on gently correcting any American friends who "get it wrong". However, only recently did I come up with an explanation. The word "district" has a different connotation in the US, in a country where the chief prosecutor is a "district attorney".

Another usage of "district" on the western side of the Pond is for school districts. We just don't think of an open country area as a "district". That is perhaps a minor part of the problem, Brits do not enjoy hearing the area called the "Lake Country". That word is used in two main senses: to refer to a nation, and to refer to rural (rather than urban or suburban) areas. This confusion is one of many reasons to recall the witty remark, attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

2 comments:

  1. From this side of the pond, Shaw's comment strikes a note of agreement. One of my brothers was briefly engaged to a young lady from England. Her mother's stories of learning "American" as she called it were a hoot.

    FWIW
    jimB

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