Right, that's why we get our mail from the Mail Office. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to push my frame into the lift so's I can hoover my flat. Oh no! I left Lorrie in the lorry!
It is getting a little off topic, but I will play; it is Saturady night:
There are arbitrary things, that have no significance, like the left/right driving and light switches working upside down. Then there are very strange differences, like those between bills and acts of congress and parliament. But surely the greatest difference is the act of tabling.
No one in Europe would have the space to even consider a table a form of storage. So I was extremely confused, when fresh off the boat three decades ago and trying to understand the US political system, to hear of proposals that where tabled, and seem to have been shelved. To table a motion, in English, would be to put it on the table for discussion, if it then went nowhere, it would be shelved.
Then there is the system of weights and measures in the US, which is invariably called English. And yet 20 ounces is a pint, not 16. One of my few lingering problems is when I order a pint and it comes in a glass that would only be 16 oz if filled to the brim and actually only holds 14 ounces*.
As Julia Child said (and perhaps she was quoting predecessors): a pint is a pound the world round, but only in America.
I could quote Wilde, but I’m sure you have heard it before. I am just glad I am a polyglot, I do both English and American – but, unfortunately, I am good at neither.
*Told to me by a German friend, when discussing the markings on the side of the glass: In England, if the beer doesn’t come up to the pint measure etching on the side of the glass, after the head dies down a little, you take your glass back to the bar and you ask (and will be given) a top up – right up to or beyond the legal marking). Are ya, he said, if the beer wasn’t filled to the legal mark in Germany, the police would be around in three minutes and the bar closed down.