Just have a nice cup of tea. You'll soon feel better.
You know what's scary? That's exactly what I did, soon as I got to girl_onthego
What do Americans call a Return then? *is intrigued*
We like to use concrete nouns for things we buy. In American, return is primarily a verb. Also, for what it's worth, we ask real questions about real people.
"Can I buy return ticket?"
Trust me, forgetting your dialect, for a different dialect is much less scary than wondering if you're forgetting your actual language.
I don't want to take the time to explain the details, but for the last 2 days I've been plagued by the sentence, "I swim in the sea hard every day." It sounds wrong to me. So I've moved all sorts of pieces around, and pretty much, the only thing I can do to make it work for me is to change it to "I swim in the sea very[really] hard every day." Sadly, that extra word would never be added by a Japanese student of English attempting to translate a Japanese sentence unless the Japanese sentence had とても(totemo) but とても一生懸命(totemo isshoukenmei) sounds like a retard (you can think of it as: I swim very for-all-my-life's-worth in the sea every day).
It really bothers me that I can't find a grammatical, structural, or common usage problem with the original sentence, but it still sounds wrong to me. Either it's an uncommon usage that I've forgotten the regular phrasing for, or it's fine, but my English (American, whatever...) has gone fishy from too little exposure. *sigh*
I would ditch the word hard and say 'I take a very thorough (or rigorous) swim in the sea every day'
Oh... another thing... in America, the "return ticket" I suggested above... only the 2nd half of a round trip ticket.
Apparently (and this is not a shock) I don't actually know British English!
Just try not to queue, and you should be fine. :-P
I thought that's what she was doing with the 'stood timidly for a few minutes' part.
Will do when I'm back in the UK!
And culturally confused. Halp!
Hmm, I can't actually figure out what's wrong with what you said without looking at the comments to your post! I can't decide if it's the number of times you apologised, that you stood quietly and waited for attention, or the ticket you asked for! It all seems perfectly normal to me.
I think it's just the phrase "can one purchase a return." An American would say something like "can I buy a round-trip ticket" or "can I get a return ticket?" First-person pronoun in the subject, terse verb, concrete object.
I'm a quiet-waiter myself, in part because my mother worked as a postal clerk and detested having people barge up to her window and imperiously shove her work aside with their packages. Being that way works badly in places where there's no accountability (gas stations, crowded tourist spots), but I can't think of a time anyone's looked at me oddly because of it.
Oh, these comments are an education for me!
Me too. I couldn't for the life of me remember what the correct American phrasing was. Yesterday I asked a maitre'd if I needed to have a booked a table at a restaurant. "No, you don't need a reservation," she said, grinning. Argh!
your american may have deserted you, but you have the british apologising down pat! :)
You're becoming one of us.....!
Some British-isms just make more sense, or they're shorter.
2009-01-23 10:51 (UTC)
But do they speak American in Newark?
I assume so. Might I recommend you ask a native speaker?
Mwahahaha. We have you now. You will be ours forever...
As long as the supply of sausage and mash and tasty ales doesn't run out, I don't have problem with that.