Solved Patting the dog, or cat, or tame cheetah etc.

Gigabyte / Ga-78lmt-s2p
March 4, 2016 at 21:02:12
Specs: Win 10/64 Home, 4gig
I have often wondered why Americans (particularly) refer to "PETTING the dog when after all the dog is the pet and what is being done is the dog is being patted (on the head).

Just wondering...


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✔ Best Answer
March 9, 2016 at 00:10:44
Yeah, the differences make it interesting. Maybe something like this would be helpful:

"Tired of those blank stares you get when asking about the nearest loo when vacationing in the colonies? Well sign up for Dave's 'Speak English like an American' course and never experience those communication gaps again."

Edit Google informs me there's a lot of literature already on that subject. (Sigh) I'm too late again.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS



#1
March 5, 2016 at 06:02:32
Patting the dog on the head would be using short movements of the hand in an up and down motion, almost like hitting a dogs head, but not as hard. Petting is a series of long strokes with the hand on the dog and moving from the head to the tail. That's just what we call it.

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#2
March 5, 2016 at 08:31:31
Yeah, every country has its own way of saying things that sometimes sounds peculiar to others. For example, I once used the word lorry or lorries for truck or trucks on here (not sure if it was the singular or plural version). I'm from the UK but this caused someone from Canada to laugh their socks off. Never did find out exactly why.

Another peculiarity is that as English came from the UK there can be a natural assumption here that any change or corruption is due to the USA. However this is far from true because many true old English words have been retained in the USA but corrupted since in the UK. I think "gotten" might be one of them (rarely used by the Brits, who say "got" instead). This sort of thing happens both ways.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
March 5, 2016 at 14:19:47
English (even when used properly) is a funny language. Germanic developed into "Old English", then "Middle English" and now "Modern English" (and whatever we continuously decide to add to it----"Googled" would have been someone who was cross-eyed just a few years ago). FWIW---few would believe how many people consider me to have some British connection because I use the words "snookered" and "daft" occasionally....

Here's something along the lines:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloss...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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#4
March 5, 2016 at 15:00:19
Wow that was quite a list - never realised there were anything like that many. Yet I hardly notice any language mis-understandings on these boards (or maybe other folk are far too polite LOL).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
March 5, 2016 at 16:04:14
Wow! That certainly is some list, I've bookmarked it for reference to words and phrases I had long forgotten.

Actually when you consider it the USA is not the only corrupter of the English language. Journalists and TV presenters in Australia will often change a noun into a verb as in "he was helicoptered to hospital" (after an accident), or "he was stretchered off the field" (football injury). My favourite though is "gifted' instead of "given" or "presented with". All lazy journalism in the Aussie case.


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#6
March 5, 2016 at 17:17:00
After looking that list over again, I think there really should be some qualifications as to "which parts of the US" they're not common. Several of them seemed quite common to me. Again, FWIW---I'm located in the southern Appalachian mountains (pronounced App-uh-LATCH-un):

https://coalfieldstocornfields.word...

http://www.ridgetopwriting.com/post...

But that's a story for another time...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#7
March 6, 2016 at 15:10:10
Good response grasshopper but what you describe as "petting" is actually "stroking" the dog as in calming him down or showing affection.

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#8
March 6, 2016 at 22:33:13
No no no. The real problem is negligent usage of the definite article the. For instance, in Ewen's example "he was helicoptered to hospital" it should be "he was helicoptered to the hospital". I've also heard 'going to university' instead of 'going to the university' when referring to the next step in a high school graduate's education. . . although for some reason 'going to college' is perfectly acceptable.

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#9
March 7, 2016 at 00:20:33
Well DAVE in CAPS "helicopter" is a noun and cannot be converted to a verb. The correct usage would be "he was transported to hospital by helicopter". Going to university is a general reference but "going to the university" would be a reference to a specific building or a specific university

Regards

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#10
March 7, 2016 at 19:34:59
But it still should be "he was transported to the hospital by helicopter". I wasn't defending 'helicoptered' as correct usage, although converting nouns to verbs and vice versa is nothing new--bicycle/bicycled, compute/computer, refuse/refusal, etc.

I think I would agree with your usage of 'university' but we'd use 'college' instead of university as the general reference to post high school education. High school kids are asked all the time 'are you going to college' but never 'are you going to university'.


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#11
March 8, 2016 at 20:31:26
Good reply DAVEINCAPS but we digress , some countries (like the USA use "college" some use "university" and in South Africa they use "varsity". Here in Australia a student will often say "i'm going to uni" (an extreme short form). I suppose one could safely say that language is continually evolving although I must say that I don't always agree with the evolution.

Regards


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#12
March 9, 2016 at 00:10:44
✔ Best Answer
Yeah, the differences make it interesting. Maybe something like this would be helpful:

"Tired of those blank stares you get when asking about the nearest loo when vacationing in the colonies? Well sign up for Dave's 'Speak English like an American' course and never experience those communication gaps again."

Edit Google informs me there's a lot of literature already on that subject. (Sigh) I'm too late again.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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