image of a blackboard

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “England and America are two countries divided by a common language.” Being half British and half American, Churchill knew better than most the differences between our two people. He was of course correct in saying that and none more so evident than since Donald Trump came to power in the US. There have been so many legal wranglings and abuses of power that following the madcap antics of Trump and his gang has become almost like watching a soap opera. But this has also thrown up a lot of words and pronunciations I have never heard.

If the American president, Donald J. Trump has taught me anything, it’s a few new words and how to be civil and respectful… nah, I’m only joking. Civility aside, I have learned a few new words since Trump took office.

A good example of ‘new’ words is Closure and Cloture which mean the same thing. That’s something I’ve learned today, having never seen the word cloture before.  Cloture is used almost exclusively to describe an American Senate rule that permits the shutting off of debate. Based on the French cloturer, which means a closing or in English, closure. That’s one of many new words I’ve discovered that we simply don’t use in Britain.

Redaction is another good one. It may well be used in legal terminology in the UK, I have no idea, but certainly I had never heard of it before Trump came to power.

Other oddities in our shared language have popped up while watching American news coverage, in particular the way we pronounce certain words so differently. The best example of that is Iraq. Amercans say Eye-RAK and we Brits pronounce it E-RAK.

Yes, the last two years of watching Trump make a mockery of the United States has been a lesson in how not to run a country, but it’s truly taught me that Americans and Britons are very different people.

And of course, last, but not least, we have the word Trump. Yes, it is a word in its own right and not just Donnie’s name. In English a Trump can be a card used to beat an opponent’s card in a game of cards. Or, perhaps more appropriately, a Trump is also a fart, which in English is the expulsion of usually foul smelling air from one’s derriere (bottom to you and me) and not something you want to be close to.

Fart for fart’s sake is all you can say about the humble Trump.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2018

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