Friday, February 01, 2008


I, on the other hand, have not screwed over anyone today. Or been screwed over by anyone. Or screwed...yous get the picture. I was reading Fanny's post just now and realised there are some American words that I find difficult to distinguish. They are also words that I want to use fairly often but then hesitate since I'm not sure I'm using the right ones.

Let me explain. Apart from the screwed over/screwed pair, another pair that I've had a lot of trouble using in the past is blow off/blow (him) off. Yes, well, the less said about the time I used them interchangeably, the better.

Another couple? Well, saloon/salon. This should be easier but in many parts of Asia, hair "salons" (in the American sense) are written up as "saloons". Especially in the local language. The idea of slapping on a pair of six-shooters and walking through swinging doors, sitting down on a barstool and asking for a "short but with layers, please and hold the shampoo" has never quite left my head.

Also, since I learnt most of my non-formal English in (the wilds of) Northern Australia, to "root" is always this (scroll down) rather than this (no. 3). See here (no. 4) for a good illustration of how quickly things can go wrong. Then, despite having lived here for nearly 5 years, I still need to think if someone says, "Do you want a ride?"

On a non-English note, I was 17 when I walked into a cafe in central Thailand and ensured all locals there were hugely amused (probably for days after since it wasn't a tourist sort of town) when I insisted I wanted good breasts* with my coffee. I'm still waiting for those.

* I'd just arrived in the country--my grandparents were still living there--on a holiday before I went to uni. It seemed like a good idea to travel about, see the country and improve my Thai. In case yous are wondering what I was actually after, it was milk (nom. I believe breasts and/or nipples are nohm). This was before I realised that coffee in Thailand automatically came with condensed milk and sugar added, unless specified otherwise.

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