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Jaywalking

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Wed January 25th, 2012, 3:05 pm

[quote=A
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.[/quote]

Oh gosh, I had to try it out to see how it sounded. I would say that we use 'to' more often, but that 'with' is not out of the picture, just a bit less likely. I guess you know all the usual Brit/American difference stuff like USA pants being knickers in the UK, and the USA pants being trousers to us. And a purse being where you keep your money in the UK, a USA purse being a handbag to us. We have wallets for money, but solely as a man's item. We always say 'got' not 'gotten'. etc etc. Good luck! :)
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

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed January 25th, 2012, 9:16 pm

I personally don't think a British person would use the term 'jaywalk' for anything other than referring to the American offence, or jocularly referring to someone, as EC says, behaving irresponsibly as a pedestrian. To my ears, it always refers to the US, not to standard behaviour/regulations here.

I don't know the English law precisely, but generally it's not a criminal offence to cross the road either not at a crossing or at a crossing when the pedestrian light is red. If you judge the road is clear enough for you to cross, you can go right ahead. You may be taking your life in your hands, though!

More here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6251431.stm
In fact, I remember this story very well from a few years ago.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Thu January 26th, 2012, 1:56 am

EC, I did not know about the purse/handbag difference! Interesting. I was aware of the rest. Thanks for the luck! I'll take it!

SweetPotatoBoy, thanks for the detailed info and the crazy news story. I can't believe they did that to that poor guy! That is terrible! I've been fussed at for jaywalking in Atlanta and in Nashville, but never treated like that! Wow.

I'm headed to Scotland this summer. Is there anything I need to know about their customs? I've been to England, but I've never gone up north to Scotland.

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Thu January 26th, 2012, 1:15 pm

Saw the following on my niece's Facebook status last night:

The definition of crosswalk is two white lines that make you feel magically invincible!
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu January 26th, 2012, 6:36 pm

[quote=""Alisha Marie Klapheke""]

I'm headed to Scotland this summer. Is there anything I need to know about their customs? I've been to England, but I've never gone up north to Scotland.[/quote]

Look right when you cross the street.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu January 26th, 2012, 6:47 pm

[quote=""Ludmilla""]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.

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.[/quote]

I've yelled my head off at a lot of locals and tourists (often American) who cross the street on a red light in Prague when I'm standing there with my kids waiting to cross. Its the worst possible example you can set for them as its one of the first rules kids see broken without punishment.

In Germany, everyone will yell at you if you cross the street on a red. Although it does get to a silly extreme late at night with no cars in the road. Any day, at 3 AM in Frankfurt, I promise that somewhere there is a street with no traffic and a German pedestrian waiting for a red light to change.

Singapore is the cleanest city on Earth for a reason. it is strictly enforced. Remember, up until a few years ago chewing gum was illegal because people were sticking it under tables. An not flushing a public toilet is a finable offense. That said, the city is beautifully clean.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Fri January 27th, 2012, 9:51 am

Regarding Singapore, I'm not sure if this is still true or my friend's husband was teasing me.....but my friend's husband spent part of his childhood there, and he says that he remembers that, when it got to the time of year when the leaves start to fall, people would actually remove the leaves from the trees before they had a chance to start falling! This would have been in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Fri January 27th, 2012, 2:37 pm

This thread made me wonder if there was an etymological kinship between 'jaywalker' and 'jayhawker' (what we Missourians called the border ruffians of Kansas during the Civil War -- now mascot for Univ of KS sports teams).

The online etymology dictionary gives these origins for the words:

Jayhawker
Amer.Eng., 1858, originally "freebooter, guerrilla, Kansas irregular" (especially one who came from the North). Hence back-formed verb jayhawk "harass" (1866).
Jaywalker
by 1912, Amer.Eng. (said in original citation to be a Kansas City term), from jay, perhaps with notion of boldness and impudence. Related: Jaywalk; jaywalker.


But Ask Yahoo had this information quoting some other sources re these words, which is interesting because Oxford English Dictionary credits the origin out of Boston and not KC.
ORIGIN 1.
The complete "Oxford English Dictionary" traces the word "jaywalker" back to 1917, and labels it originally U.S. There is a cross-reference to the word "jay" which has a number of slang senses. The relevant one appears to be a stupid or dull person or a simpleton; and as an adjective: dull, unsophisticated, inferior, poor. This is labelled U.S. colloquial, and there is evidence of use from 1900. So persons who stupidly ignored traffic regulations were given (originally in Boston) this compact name.
Please see:
http://www.english-for-students.com/Jayw…

Another reliable source provides a similar explanation. "Harpers Magazine" (circa 1917) noted that originally in Boston "a pedestrian who crosses streets in disregard of traffic signals" was reduced to the slang term "'jaywalker.'" This derived from the slang use of the term "jay" as a "gullible, naive fellow," and also "an unsophisticated country fellow," apparently derived from the habits of the jaybird. The verb "jaywalk" appeared in print a few years later than the noun. Both terms coincide with the regular appearance of automobiles on urban streets. The term "jaywalk" is said to refer to the likelihood that jays and rubens (or rubes), being unfamiliar with traffic rules in the city, would cross the street in a heedless way.
Please see:
http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pp…

ORIGIN 2.
Another, less plausible explaination, is that the term "jaywalker" may have been influenced by the earlier term "jayhawker" (i.e., "one of the antislavery guerrillas in Kansas and other border states before and during the Civil War"). These guerrillas used violent and aggressive tactics to keep slavery out of the region. This would trace the "jaywalker" to the aggressive Kansas "jayhawker."
Please see:
http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pp…
Hmm...

SGM
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Post by SGM » Sat January 28th, 2012, 1:10 pm

Rights relating to walking the countryside can be confusing (well, I never got the hang of it). In England, we have footpaths which cut across what would otherwise be private land but are quite legal for us to use -- although are arguments about that that in certain places but said footpaths are usually clearly marked on maps. The situation under Scottish law is not quite the same and I think (but as I said I was never entirely sure) that it is more similar to the Scandinavian "All man's right" and hence footpaths are less clearly marked.

But if taking a country stroll you could probably make sure you feel comfortable with the rights of access.

And before someone starts quoting Scottish law to me (which I do understand), when I say I never entirely got the hang of it I mean that I have a culturally ingrained English habit of sticking to footpaths that are marked on a map.
Last edited by SGM on Sat January 28th, 2012, 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SGM
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Post by SGM » Sat January 28th, 2012, 1:17 pm

[quote=""EC2""]We always say 'got' not 'gotten'. etc etc. Good luck! :) [/quote]

i agree that "gotten" is not common English usage today but it is remarkable how often I come across it in 19th-century-English academic works. It just seems to be one of those words that has fallen out of use for us here over the past hundred years or so. But the use of it today does tend to lead to expect the writer to be from the US.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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