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Jaywalking

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Jaywalking

Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Mon January 23rd, 2012, 7:30 pm

I'm just curious. Do those who live in the UK use the word jaywalking to describe someone illegally crossing the street? We use it here in the southern US. This kind of stuff fascinates me.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Mon January 23rd, 2012, 8:27 pm

I have heard the time used here, although I don't think it's actually illegal here to jaywalk. I remember many years ago an elderly friend of my grandmother's visited relatives in San Diego, and she was fined for jaywalking! We thought it was hilarious, as she was a dear soul who walked with a stick and wouldn't hurt a fly. I don't think she got a criminal record for it though. I know it used to be - don't know if it still is - also an offence in some European countries, Germany for one if I remember rightly from my German Oral lessons.
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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Tue January 24th, 2012, 1:52 pm

I moved from Florida to San Diego many moons ago for only a year and almost killed quite a few legal non-jaywalkers crossing at proper pedestrian areas! I had been used to very defensive jaywalkers who knew they were in the wrong versus folks crossing properly at crosswalks that quite frankly need MUCH bigger signs to warn me! I had to learn to watch for those signs because I was used to most people crossing at traffic lighted intersections instead of in the middle of nowhere.

There are some VERY lucky people perhaps still walking this world because once upon a time they were really in my crosshairs, lol!
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Tue January 24th, 2012, 2:06 pm

In mainland Europe, they have zebra crossings like we have in the UK - however no car driver ever stops at them, even if there's a pedestrian halfway across at the time! Truly terrifying.
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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Tue January 24th, 2012, 2:24 pm

Thanks Madeleine and Leyland for info and interesting tales of danger! Ha!
I couldn't remember seeing any crosswalks in Germany, Austria, or France so I was just wondering...better watch my step when I head to Edinburgh! I'm used to the very controlled pedestrian walkways in my hometown. No one but out of towners and really young punks cross the road out of turn here! So funny what we get used to.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue January 24th, 2012, 2:55 pm

In Paris, at least, people often jaywalk and ignore red lights, but I do know that Germany is quite a contrast. My husband tells me people in Germany generally obey the signs and it's socially unacceptable to ignore them (at least in Munich where he was). He said it was interesting going from France to Germany when he was over there because of cultural differences like this.

In Atlanta, one of the biggest dangers at cross-sections is posed by the one-way streets. If you are driving, you forget to look in the other direction for pedestrians, which can be dangerous to anyone trying to walk in front of cars (pulling out of parking garages, e.g.). I've been on the pedestrian end of things, too, and it's annoying when drivers ignore the walkers' right-of-way at the major intersections. Patrols will often set up blocks to prevent people from jaywalking in areas that get a lot of foot traffic. Atlanta is also terrible for not having enough sidewalks (esp in the suburbs). Definitely a car city, not walker friendly in most areas. This is the city, afterall, where Margaret Mitchell was run over by a car.

I think my husband told me Hong Kong (or was it Singapore or both?) had very strict rules that are enforced, and you don't want to be caught littering, either.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue January 24th, 2012, 3:27 pm

I think it is still illegal to jaywalk in the Northwest, but I doubt the police have the time to ticket people (once upon a time they would). Most folks respect the crosswalk, and don't cross unless they have the green light. There are some that still do jaywalk, and frankly very stupid about it, wearing dark clothing and crossing four lane streets in the dark and rain. And we're supposed to see them?

Pedestrians in crosswalks (lighted or not) always always always have the right of way here, but I recall a trip to Chicago and New York when I was a youngin' and being quite shocked about how that is not the case everywhere in the US.
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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Tue January 24th, 2012, 8:26 pm

To answer the original question - yes, we brits would use the word jaywalk in everyday conversation for someone acting irresponsibly as a pedestrian crossing the road. I don't think we have another term for it.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

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Post by annis » Wed January 25th, 2012, 2:25 am

I live in a small country town and people historically have the habit of wandering at will all over the main road. It's a hangover from the past when it was really quiet and you'd be lucky to have more than ten cars going down the street at any one time. These days it's rather like playing Russian roulette but everyone still does it. MInd you, the least safe place to cross is on a pedestrian crossing, where you really take your life in your hands!

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Wed January 25th, 2012, 2:04 pm

Thanks for the info Ludmilla, EC2, Misfit, and Annis!

EC, thank you for the note about the word usage. As you probably guessed, I'm using the term in a conversation in my current WIP. An American girl is speaking to a policewoman just outside London.

That brings up another question...is it true that Brits never use the word "with" to follow "speak" or "talk"? For example a Brit might say: I spoke to her. They wouldn't say: I spoke with her. Is that accurate? I know in Nashville, we use both "with" and "to" with no real difference in intended meaning.

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