The Other I

July 22, 2011

No place to hide

Filed under: Uncategorized — theotheri @ 2:37 pm

The BBC has just posted 50 “Americanisms” that the English seem to find most annoying.  It’s an interesting list, and even as an American, includes a few of my own favourite (or should I say favorite?) hates.

But the Americanism that doesn’t draw from me even a patronizing smile didn’t make the list, perhaps because it crossed the pond decades ago and is already in wide use over here now.  It’s the use – or rather mis-use – of the word “pressurized”  when what the person means is “pressured.”  Until about 1970,  I wasn’t pressurized to do something.  I was pressured.

The British do recognize that “burglarized” should rightly be “burglared” but somehow pressurized passes unnoticed.

I am glad to report, however, that the American “analyzation” has not yet replaced the original “analysis” on this side of the Atlantic.

But there is a phrase that has even made it onto the main news programs over here.  And that is “I mean you know.”  Even top level newscasters begin their questioning with that phrase – “I mean you know…”

I was not familiar with that ghastly phrase in the States, although I was aware that “you know” in the middle of a sentence usually signalled that the speaker needed an extra moment to clarify what indeed he or she did know.

But the “I mean” is a new addition.  Did it come from over there?  If so, I’d like to take it back on my next trip to the U.S., and leave it there.

I mean you know, it’s so meaningless.



  1. i mean, ok, if i utilize instead of use, does it make it, i mean, a fancy use of use, does it add anything to the meaning?
    ps we are over-loaded with air-error words. please keep i mean on your side of the pond! kateri


    Comment by kateritek — July 23, 2011 @ 12:44 am | Reply

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