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Five English words that Americans get wrong

Editorial Staff

Oscar Wilde (who was Irish) said that the English and the Americans are common people divided by a single language. Or something like that. He was right. The divergence between English and American can cause some serious confusion.

Here are some examples



It's a donkey. It's not a bum.


It means vagina, but Americans think it means bum.


It means arse but Americans think it means an indigent person, probably a vagrant.


In the 19th Century, a faggot was the term for a bundle of brushwood and later for a bundle of firewood. It also means a pork and herb meatball. But Americans have used it as a derogatory term for homosexuals.


Gay means happy but Americans use it to mean homosexuals and, unfortunately, this use has spread across the world with the annoyance that to call someone gay now inevitably means homosexual instead of happy.

Ironically, across much of the world, use of the word "gay" has now become a derogatory term, which was not the intention of those who chose to change its meaning. As a result they are not happy.


TO GOOGLE (6 September 2017)

You have issued a notice alleging a breach (you call it a "violation") of your policies but do not specify what you allege is wrong.

The page at https://www.pleasebeinformed.c... does not contain anything that is in bad taste nor that breaches any of your stated policies.

Please confirm that the notice is invalid and that no action will be taken.

Update to Google (19 September 2017)

You have not replied so you clearly don't think it's very important after all.

We, however, consider it extremely important that you think you have the right to dictate what we, an English company, can write in English. Actual English, that is, not American.

Accordingly, we have removed all Google Adsense adverts from PleaseBeInformed.com. We find your conduct offensive, aggressive and discriminatory. Goodbye,