Sunday, July 29, 2007

you alright?

while in london a few weeks ago, i noticed that friendly folks here and there were asking me if i was alright. "you alright?" they'd ask. or maybe, "are you okay?" i don't know about you, but i was really starting to think that maybe i had a large pustule on my face. or perhaps i looked quite lost. or maybe, just maybe, i looked so stupid that they couldn't help but ask me if i was okay since i could be a damsel in distress in need of rescuing.

this question got asked of me one too many times, and i began to get suspicious. either there really WAS something visibly wrong with me, or it was an idiosyncrasy of british english rather than american english. i asked a very nice british guy named jake (a talented and hilarious artist) if i was going crazy or what.

he kindly informed me that "you alright?" is a kind of british way of saying "how you doin'?" AH! problem solved. we had a long talk about all the ways that british and american english are entirely different. like "lift" and "loo" instead of elevator and bathroom. it's funny that although we're technically speaking the same language, "to get pissed" there is to get drunk, while here it is to get angry. hm.

well, here's an obligatory photo of t 'n' me in front of the tower bridge.

25 comments:

Nabeel said...

isn't that called the London Bridge? Or is 'Tower Bridge' the actual name?

hellomelissa said...

oh, nabeel, i was SO disappointed when i got home and googled "london bridge" only to find out that it's called the tower bridge due to it's proximity to he tower of london.

the actual london bridge is kinda modern and not so cool looking.

ML said...

Oh yeah, it's true, they do say that to say how you doing? Reminds me of the Harry Potter books when Hagrid would always say "Ah right then, 'Arry?" or somefink like that.

Lainey-Paney said...

Hey...you alright?

Just kidding!

:)

Hope it was sooooo much fun!

CereneOne said...

I understand this completely. Believe it or not, having lived in England, Holland and Germany for a number of years, England was by far the hardest to get your point across in! We speak "American" not English these days.

Lotus Reads said...

Melissa, wonderful to have you back, I have missed you! Love the new profile pic and the one with you and T in front of the Tower Bridge is a great one, you guys look like you're really enjoying the trip! This post made me slightly nostalgic actually...

In school we studied British English so till today I use phrases and expressions that stump my American friends!

hellomelissa said...

ml-- it was harry who reminded me to ask for a "plaster" in england instead of a "band-aid"!

lainey-- i am, indeed, alright, especially now that i know there wasn't anything visibly wrong with me!

cereneone-- i think the most confusing slang was "slash." it means "pee" as in "i need to take a slash." huh?

lotus-- it's good to be back! i needed to change the old photo, it wasn't so accurate anymore. i'm having a going-away party for it soon.

gmcountrymama said...

Glad you are back. Were you near where all the the flooding was happening?
I love the new picture. Someday I will change my profile pic to a real pic of me.

Ally Bean said...

I'm jealous that you went to London. I haven't been there in years, but from the looks of this photo not much has changed. Glad you're back safe and sound.

Autumn's Mom said...

I love hearing about their different slang. glad you are back :)

Autumn's Mom said...

oh, and I like the new pic!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

I would "slash" my pants if I could speak like a Brit - they just sound so cool. Their slang is brilliant - a few days there and I noticed I was already starting to raise my voice and the end of my statements. If they made a pill I would take it.

Beenzzz said...

I think we should adopt their words. :) You and t look smashing in your pic. Lucky! I wanna go!!!!

Da Mommy said...

My mother in law is from England so our family is used to it...it does take a bit of getting used to! Hope you had fun on your trip though, England is a fun place to visit!!

hellomelissa said...

gmcm-- the flooding was on the news, but london's pretty safe from it all with the thames barrier. it got loads worse after we got back. it only rained once while we were there!

ally-- it was my first trip, and a quick one at that, but the city certainly left an impression on me!

autumn's mom-- we laughed and laughed with friends over the differences in speech. oh, and thanks for the comment about the new photo. :)

parisienne farmgirl-- i'm in total agreement. if i could sound as intelligent as most brits i'd do it in a heartbeat! but wouldn't you rather sound french? :)

beenzzz-- i think for the most part, theirs is the more colorful of the englishes.

da mommy-- you're so lucky to get to hear british all the time!

Starshine said...

What a great trip! Welcome home! What kind of artist are you? (I read your profile and it says you work in the arts...just curious because I work in the arts, too.)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Welcome back! What happened to the old pic on your sidebar? New one is nice, but not so crazy. :)

hellomelissa said...

starshine (bride!)-- oh, i guess at the moent i'm an arts handler. my hub's an illustrator and i di anything and everything he needs, including running the business & financial, shipping, computer stuff, emailing...

in other words, not much actual art! that's what the kids are for, i suppose.

j-- I'M SORRY! it was time to change. :( the old one was just so last year. :)

maxxo said...

i'm british and it's funny cuz when i was in america people would come up and say "what's up?" and i'd reply that nothing was up, i was ok. i then realised it was a greeting - but in england, to say that, means that you think someone is upset or angry.

Buffy said...

I could write a book on this topic.

In fact, I think I have.

mrsmogul said...

oh yeah they also say..(it sounds like) til ya....it means good bye. Did you have Bubbles and Squeak?

Jay said...

Excellent deciphering skills!

Andie D. said...

Obligatory or not - love the photo!

My favorite is rubber for eraser. And jumper for sweater. Fag for cigarette.

Mr. L said...

I was over there last week and got the "You OK?" treatment as well...still, it's better than the "get the hell out of my way" you get around Boston!! :)

Lainey-Paney said...

okay...it's been about a month now since your last post.
I'm getting ready to ask you----Are you Alright??????????

Hello????
Melissa??????
WHERE ARE YOU???
ARE YOU ALRIGHT????????