Lost/displaced Briticisms
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Lost/displaced Briticisms
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David Picton
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Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:12 pm    Post subject: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more? Or point to
questionable items?

Accumulator: car battery
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'
Sparking plug: spark plug
Wireless: radio
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Einde O'Callaghan
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

David Picton wrote:
Quote:
Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more? Or point to
questionable items?

Accumulator: car battery
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'
Sparking plug: spark plug
Wireless: radio

I'd like to know when you think they were lost. Except for billion and
fount I've never used these so-called Briticisms nor heard them being
used, even while living in Britain from 1971 to 1992, with the partial
exception of "wireless", which I associate with people at least 30 or 40
years older than me.

It seems to me thet what you have here is a list of terms from the
pre-World War II period which fell out of use, but not necessarily
because of American influence.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
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John Dean
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

David Picton wrote:
Quote:
Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more? Or point to
questionable items?

Accumulator: car battery
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'
Sparking plug: spark plug
Wireless: radio

I think you're making assertions unsupported by research. 'accumulator',
for instance, wasn't used exclusively (or, IIRC, generally) for a car
battery. OED points to various uses of the term:

<1883 Gladstone & Tribe Chem. Secondary Batteries, p. ix, It is somewhat
unfortunate that they have been called 'accumulators' or 'storage
batteries'. 1911 Encycl. Brit. XXII. 227/2 A hydraulic accumulator
ordinarily consists of a hydraulic cylinder and ram, the ram being
loaded with sufficient weight to give the pressure required in the
hydraulic mains. 1946 Electronics Apr. 310/2 The arithmetic elements
include 20 accumulators, 1 multiplier and 1 combination divider and
square rooter. 1947 D. R. Hartree Calculating Machines 17 An
accumulator+has a number of channels for the reception and transmission
of numerical information. 1949 Gloss. Aeronaut. Terms (B.S.I.) ii. 15
Fuel accumulator, a device for storing fuel, during a portion of the
starting cycle, in order to augment the flow momentarily when a
predetermined fuel pressure has been reached. 1949 Gloss. Terms
Refrigeration (B.S.I.) 4 Accumulator, a liquid refrigerant container in
the low-pressure side of the system. >

And 'battery' for an electrical component was in use here before the USA
existed.
'gangway' and 'aisle' have co-existed for a long time.

On 'quit' OED says < The exact range of ME. quVtte(n is difficult to
determine (cf. quit:a); the usual form was undoubtedly quWte(n. The pa.
tense and pa. pple. of this were usually quitte, quit (less commonly
quited), and this fact may have assisted in the general substitution of
quit for quite which began in the latter part of the 16th c., and was
practically complete by 1650. During the first half of the 17th c. the
pa. tense and pple. vary between quit and quitted, the former being
freq. employed even by writers who use quit in the inf. and pres.; in
later use quitted is the standard form, quit being now chiefly dial. and
U.S. colloquial.]>

'Radio' was in use here from the earliest days - which is why the BBC
called its listings magazine 'Radio Times', not 'Wireless Times', when
it was first published in 1923
--
John 'etc' Dean
Oxford
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Areff
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

Einde O'Callaghan wrote:
Quote:
David Picton wrote:
Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more? Or point to
questionable items?

Accumulator: car battery
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'
Sparking plug: spark plug
Wireless: radio

I'd like to know when you think they were lost. Except for billion and
fount I've never used these so-called Briticisms nor heard them being
used, even while living in Britain from 1971 to 1992, with the partial
exception of "wireless", which I associate with people at least 30 or 40
years older than me.

It seems to me thet what you have here is a list of terms from the
pre-World War II period which fell out of use, but not necessarily
because of American influence.

Why did they fall out of use, if not because of AmE influence? Several of
those terms were well-established in AmE long before World War II.

Mind you, I don't approve of postwar British US-ophilia.

--
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Don A. Gilmore
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

"John Dean" <john-dean@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:ccltmc$3jj$1@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...
Quote:
I think you're making assertions unsupported by research. 'accumulator',
for instance, wasn't used exclusively (or, IIRC, generally) for a car
battery. OED points to various uses of the term:

[snip dictionary entry with sundry meanings of "accumulator"]

Quote:
And 'battery' for an electrical component was in use here before the USA
existed.

The battery was invented in 1800. What "electrical component" did the term
you mention refer to?

Don
Kansas City
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Mike Stevens
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

"David Picton" <djpicton@bigmailbox.net> wrote in message

I'm not sure to what extent these have been displaced.

Quote:
Accumulator: car battery

When I was kid, accumulators were common. They weren't much like car
batteries (physically - I guess they were chemically indentical). Their
most common use was to power wireless sets in houses (in rural areas) that
didn't have mains electricity.

Quote:
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)

Many UK people distinguish between "US billion" and "UK billion" as
different numbers. Some of us refuse to use the word with such distinction,
in order to avoid confusion.

Quote:
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'

I'm not convinced that "fount" was ever used in this sense outside the
printing industry, where (I'm told by people who know more than I about such
matters) its use was not identical to the present-day computer-based use of
the word "font". I don't know whether the few surviving moveable-print
printers still use the word "fount".

Quote:
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'

I think the two uses exist side-by-side in the UK at the moment.

Quote:
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'

I've never come across "quitted".

Quote:
Sparking plug: spark plug

Was "spark plug" US in origin? I'd have geussed that both uses were once
common in the UK, but "spark plug" is now much more common than "sparking
plug".

Quote:
Wireless: radio

"Radio" certainly wasn't solely US in origin. It was the recognised name of
the system from its very beginning, with "wireless" as a popular alternative
that fell out of use (well, largely, it's still used a bit).
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David Picton
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

Einde O'Callaghan <einde.ocallaghan@planet-interkom.de> wrote in message news:<2l76u9F9mmldU1@uni-berlin.de>...
Quote:
David Picton wrote:
Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more? Or point to
questionable items?

Accumulator: car battery
Billion: originally 'large' (10^12), now 'small' (10^9)
Fount: as typeface, now usually 'font'
Gangway: as a passage between seats in a theatre etc., now
largely displaced by 'aisle'
Quitted: past of 'quit' is now usually 'quit'
Sparking plug: spark plug
Wireless: radio

I'd like to know when you think they were lost. Except for billion and
fount I've never used these so-called Briticisms nor heard them being
used, even while living in Britain from 1971 to 1992, with the partial
exception of "wireless", which I associate with people at least 30 or 40
years older than me.

Accumulator: I think this was common in the 1940s but had gone out of
use by the 1960s. (My father worked for a company which manufactured
car batteries and they were never referred to as accumulators.)

Billion: I remember learning in school (in the 1960s) that a billion
was 10^12, but I think that the 'British' billion was on its way out
even then. Its fate was sealed when Harold Wilson decided, in 1974, to
use the US billion in Government publications. See:

http://www.alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxbill00.html

I think that 'Fount' went out with the introduction of modern
computer-based printing technology (mainly in the 1980s).

'Gangway' is still in use in the stated sense, having been only partly
displaced by 'aisle'.

I'm not sure when the pendulum swung from 'quitted' to 'quit' in the
UK. British dictionaries tended to list 'quitted' as the UK usage and
'quit' as the US usage, until about the mid 1980s - but dictionaries
often take 2 decades or longer to notice usage trends! However I do
suspect that an American influence has played a part in the trend.

'Wireless' was common in the 1960s but went into rapid decline
afterwards. The term 'radio' isn't really an Americanism, but I
believe that the American influence helped to popularize it.

Quote:
It seems to me thet what you have here is a list of terms from the
pre-World War II period which fell out of use, but not necessarily
because of American influence.

I don't think this statement is true for the majority of the words in
my list!
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Don A. Gilmore
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

"David Picton" <djpicton@bigmailbox.net> wrote in message
news:2ad9e934.0407090815.7ffe2069@posting.google.com...

Quote:
'Gangway' is still in use in the stated sense, having been only partly
displaced by 'aisle'.

Interestingly, "gangway!" is often used as an interjection in AmE. It's
meaning is equivalent to "Get out of the way!"

Don
Kansas City
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John Dean
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

Don A. Gilmore wrote:
Quote:
"John Dean" <john-dean@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:ccltmc$3jj$1@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...
I think you're making assertions unsupported by research.
'accumulator', for instance, wasn't used exclusively (or, IIRC,
generally) for a car battery. OED points to various uses of the term:

[snip dictionary entry with sundry meanings of "accumulator"]

And 'battery' for an electrical component was in use here before the
USA existed.

The battery was invented in 1800.

You don't accept the 'Baghdad battery'? It could generate up to 2 volts
and is dated to 250 BC. It was used for electroplating and batteries
were used for electroplating by early civilisations such as the
Babylonian and Egyptian.
But you want to stick to Count Volta? OK. What about Ben Franklin?
Usually credited with coining the term (in 1748) as well as showing the
18th Century how to make one. Though contemporaries of his were also
generating electricity from early capacitors. Volta produced *a*
battery, but he was far from being the first. Nicholson, Carlisle and
Davy were using batteries in 1800 but never thought to claim they
invented them.

Quote:
What "electrical component" did
the term you mention refer to?

Franklin's charged glass plates? The Leyden jars (invented c. 1745/6)
connected in parallel by various C18 experimenters?
--
John Dean
Oxford
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Don A. Gilmore
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

"John Dean" <john-dean@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:ccmhfk$6jf$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...
Quote:
You don't accept the 'Baghdad battery'? It could generate up to 2 volts
and is dated to 250 BC. It was used for electroplating and batteries
were used for electroplating by early civilisations such as the
Babylonian and Egyptian.
But you want to stick to Count Volta? OK. What about Ben Franklin?
Usually credited with coining the term (in 1748) as well as showing the
18th Century how to make one. Though contemporaries of his were also
generating electricity from early capacitors. Volta produced *a*
battery, but he was far from being the first. Nicholson, Carlisle and
Davy were using batteries in 1800 but never thought to claim they
invented them.

What "electrical component" did
the term you mention refer to?

Franklin's charged glass plates? The Leyden jars (invented c. 1745/6)
connected in parallel by various C18 experimenters?

All of these things were called "batteries" before 1776? I find that a
little hard to believe. But I can't disprove it, so I'll have to take your
word for it. Thanks John.

Don
Kansas City
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John Dean
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

Don A. Gilmore wrote:
Quote:
"John Dean" <john-dean@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:ccmhfk$6jf$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...
You don't accept the 'Baghdad battery'? It could generate up to 2
volts and is dated to 250 BC. It was used for electroplating and
batteries were used for electroplating by early civilisations such
as the Babylonian and Egyptian.
But you want to stick to Count Volta? OK. What about Ben Franklin?
Usually credited with coining the term (in 1748) as well as showing
the 18th Century how to make one. Though contemporaries of his were
also generating electricity from early capacitors. Volta produced *a*
battery, but he was far from being the first. Nicholson, Carlisle and
Davy were using batteries in 1800 but never thought to claim they
invented them.

What "electrical component" did
the term you mention refer to?

Franklin's charged glass plates? The Leyden jars (invented c. 1745/6)
connected in parallel by various C18 experimenters?

All of these things were called "batteries" before 1776? I find that
a little hard to believe. But I can't disprove it, so I'll have to
take your word for it. Thanks John.


Well, allow me to slip in a cite from the OED:

<<9. Electr. An apparatus consisting of a number of Leyden jars so
connected that they may be charged and discharged simultaneously.

1748 Franklin Lett. Wks. 1840 V. 202 An electrical battery, consisting
of eleven panes of large sash-glass, armed with thin leaden plates. >>

Or what appears to be a direct quote (para 4.20):
http://tinyurl.com/3apoy


--
John Dean
Oxford
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John Hall
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

In article <2ad9e934.0407090112.36402974@posting.google.com>,
David Picton <djpicton@bigmailbox.net> writes:
Quote:
Thought I'd start a new thread on Briticisms which have been (mostly)
displaced by Americanisms. Can you think of any more?
snip


Lorry: truck
--
John Hall Weep not for little Leonie
Abducted by a French Marquis!
Though loss of honour was a wrench
Just think how it's improved her French. Harry Graham (1874-1936)
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Martin Ambuhl
Guest





Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

John Dean wrote:

Quote:
And 'battery' for an electrical component was in use here before the USA
existed.

That's true. But it was an Americanism, even then. Franklin in 1748
seems to have been the first to call a series of Leyden jars a "battery."
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Harvey Van Sickle
Guest





Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:10 am    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

On 09 Jul 2004, Don A. Gilmore wrote
Quote:
"John Dean" <john-dean@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:ccmhfk$6jf$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...

You don't accept the 'Baghdad battery'? It could generate up to 2
volts and is dated to 250 BC. It was used for electroplating and
batteries were used for electroplating by early civilisations
such as the Babylonian and Egyptian.
But you want to stick to Count Volta? OK. What about Ben
Franklin? Usually credited with coining the term (in 1748) as
well as showing the 18th Century how to make one. Though
contemporaries of his were also generating electricity from early
capacitors. Volta produced *a* battery, but he was far from being
the first. Nicholson, Carlisle and Davy were using batteries in
1800 but never thought to claim they invented them.

What "electrical component" did
the term you mention refer to?

Franklin's charged glass plates? The Leyden jars (invented c.
1745/6) connected in parallel by various C18 experimenters?

All of these things were called "batteries" before 1776? I find
that a little hard to believe. But I can't disprove it, so I'll
have to take your word for it. Thanks John.

You can take OED's word for it, too -- that's where the 1748 citation
from Franklin can be found. (He even used the phrase "an electrical
battery" for his arrangement of glass plates.)

--
Cheers, Harvey

Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to harvey.van)
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Peter Duncanson
Guest





Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Lost/displaced Briticisms Reply with quote

On Fri, 9 Jul 2004 16:37:28 +0100, "Mike Stevens"
<michael.stevens@which.net> wrote:

Quote:
Wireless: radio

"Radio" certainly wasn't solely US in origin. It was the recognised name of
the system from its very beginning, with "wireless" as a popular alternative
that fell out of use (well, largely, it's still used a bit).

'Wireless' is staging a strong comeback in the area of computer networking.


--
Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from a.e.u)
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