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Thursday, 05 August 2010


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Mind you, he's wrong about "gift" as a verb being American - it's part of Scottish English too. (Indeed, that may perhaps be why it is part of American English.) If the Telegraph were ever to cover any Scottish news, that could matter. Still, it's an unlikely eventuality.

Actually, 'DM', I am rather fond of some Americanisms. Many of their slang phrases and neologisms are very inventive and vivid, I think.

STFU. That sort of thing?

Or "He embarked in the elevator to transition to his apartment"?

"STFU". Yes, exactly that; short, pithy, single-syllable words with the swear word adding the necessary venom. I am also rather fond of "motherfucker" which has all my friends fainting with horror but which I think is a superb insult in the worst possible taste - which is what you need for a good insult. (My friends, I'm afraid, never suffered the verbal attentions of a British army drill sergeant and are thus easily shocked. I did, and I'm not!) It is used constantly in my favourite TV series, 'The Wire', to the point, unfortunately, where all literal meaning is lost and it become no more remarkable than 'bloody fool'.

But not your second example which is the sort of 'pomp-speak' used by management consultants, than which, etc, etc.

The English never said MF before Americans got there? (Sorry, can't bring myself to say or write it. Catholic upbringing.)

You hear it a lot in movies. When television buys the rights, the director has to get actors to dub over it. Most, like Scorsese, use something deliberately silly, like "Mickey-Fickey". "Drop the gun, you Mickey-Fickey."

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