Re: Interpreter Strip
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 00:08:11 +0000
Thanks to Dick Sullivan for his attempts to bridge the gap between two
cultures divided by a common language.
I can recall the look of shock when my British Scouts, on a visit to USA,
we told to " get of their fannies " ... in those days we were non co-ed,
and suffice it to say that fannies are not part of a boy's anatomy in British
English, but are the prerogative of the female gender.
Dick is almost right with his definition of " kit " - a term borrowed
from the military it includes just about anything from a pencil to all
the equipment used for a camp or activity. I discovered on joining BSA
that American Scouts don't have " kit layouts " where they lay all their
equipment for inspection, boot camp style.
There are probably Scouts in the USA who went through their formative
years with BSA troops in UK who define cooking pots as billies (small)
and dixies (large) , who cook steaks but secure their tents with pegs
and so on, due to the influence of a British ASM. It was a few years
later when I had learnt the language that one of the kids remarked " You
know, Mr Ford, you speak American with an English accent. " I hope it was
intended as a compliment.
I still have problems with some American usage, e.g. to me a gas stove
runs on gas ( butane or propane, and sorry, Dick, the two are chemically
different ) not liquid fuel. Asked to book a hotel room for an American
friend " with a bathroom " I did exactly that ... a room with an en suite
tub, not just a potty and a shower.
My British Cub Scouts have also picked up some of my bad habits - the Sixers
(Denners) asked me to get them " bug juice " for their next camping trip,
having discovered the joys of grape KoolAid, not available here in the shops.
They also discovered smores and PBJs, and that patches are badges, not
repairs for torn clothing, and that patch trading means badge swapping.
There's more, but that's enough to be going on with ...
Trainer & District Committee Member, Channel District, Transatlantic
Council BSA , also Asst. Group Scout Leader, 25th Greenwich Scout Group,
PS - I still enjoy the look on the face of the gate guards when I turn up
at a base wearing a BSA uniform and then start speaking with a Southern
English accent ...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City