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the pit lane/pit road
Posted: 22 April 2017 01:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Americans seem to have no time for needless syllables which do nothing.

As in cookery book vs. cookbook: though cookbook has gained such currency in Rightpondia over the last 50 years or so that I think you’d have to be middle-aged at least to think of it as an Americanism.

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Posted: 22 April 2017 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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OTOH, the American dictionary, stationery, promontory, laboratory etc each have one more syllable than the British versions.

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Posted: 22 April 2017 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 22 April 2017 01:08 AM

Americans seem to have no time for needless syllables which do nothing.

As in cookery book vs. cookbook: though cookbook has gained such currency in Rightpondia over the last 50 years or so that I think you’d have to be middle-aged at least to think of it as an Americanism.

Agreed. I wonder that the others (aeroplane, aluminium, racing-track et al) have survived so long under the constant pressure of movies and TV. I don’t know whether the young are starting to use the shorter American forms but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

I tried to come up with more examples but my well was dry.

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Posted: 22 April 2017 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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OP Tipping - 22 April 2017 05:52 AM

OTOH, the American dictionary, stationery, promontory, laboratory etc each have one more syllable than the British versions.

I think the 3-syllable British (and Aussie?) pronunciaton of stationery useful as it makes for distinction between that word and stationary. On the other hand of course if Americans pronounce both words with 4 syllables there is no such distinction in the first place.

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Posted: 22 April 2017 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I wonder that the others (aeroplane, aluminium, racing-track et al) have survived so long under the constant pressure of movies and TV.

The influence of media (e.g., movies, TV) is less than many people think it is. It’s not that media doesn’t have an impact, but the influence of real people you speak directly with has a much larger one.

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Posted: 24 April 2017 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I didn’t express myself very well. My original point was that pit road sounds odd because it has no article as with unnamed Pharaoh(s) in the Bible. We don’t say King was displeased. You give him a name or an article though in the case of Pharaoh it was because they didn’t know any of their names. Similarly, all nouns in racing have articles (the track etc) except for pit road and I just wondered why. I took expressway downtown. Is pit road unique in this?

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Posted: 24 April 2017 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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OP Tipping - 22 April 2017 05:52 AM

OTOH, the American dictionary, stationery, promontory, laboratory etc each have one more syllable than the British versions.

I haven’t looked, but do those of British extraction spell these with three syllables or only pronounce them that way?

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Posted: 24 April 2017 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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venomousbede - 24 April 2017 05:44 AM

I didn’t express myself very well. My original point was that pit road sounds odd because it has no article as with unnamed Pharaoh(s) in the Bible. We don’t say King was displeased. You give him a name or an article though in the case of Pharaoh it was because they didn’t know any of their names. Similarly, all nouns in racing have articles (the track etc) except for pit road and I just wondered why. I took expressway downtown. Is pit road unique in this?

”going to hospital.”
[ Edited: 24 April 2017 09:45 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 24 April 2017 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Oecolampadius - 24 April 2017 06:59 AM

OP Tipping - 22 April 2017 05:52 AM
OTOH, the American dictionary, stationery, promontory, laboratory etc each have one more syllable than the British versions.

I haven’t looked, but do those of British extraction spell these with three syllables or only pronounce them that way?

We spell them just as you do, oeco.

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Posted: 24 April 2017 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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venomousbede - 24 April 2017 05:44 AM

I didn’t express myself very well. My original point was that pit road sounds odd because it has no article as with unnamed Pharaoh(s) in the Bible. We don’t say King was displeased. You give him a name or an article though in the case of Pharaoh it was because they didn’t know any of their names. Similarly, all nouns in racing have articles (the track etc) except for pit road and I just wondered why. I took expressway downtown. Is pit road unique in this?

Perhaps pit road is being analyzed as a proper noun, Pit Road, as in Wellborn Road or Main Street.

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Posted: 24 April 2017 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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OP Tipping - 22 April 2017 05:52 AM

OTOH, the American dictionary, stationery, promontory, laboratory etc each have one more syllable than the British versions.

I’d say that laboratory is usually pronounced with four syllables in American and British English, though the pronunciations are very different: LAB-ruh-tor-ee (American) vs. luh-BOR-uh-tree (British).

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Posted: 26 April 2017 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I said in my OP that pit road sounded like an address. They could assign numbers to each pit team based on location. Chrysler, 3 Pit Road, Des Moines Race Track, Iowa.

On the economy theme, I’ve noticed some Americans say ‘’a couple years’’ rather than a couple of. Is this a regional thing or a class marker?

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Posted: 26 April 2017 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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venomousbede - 26 April 2017 02:35 AM

On the economy theme, I’ve noticed some Americans say ‘’a couple years’’ rather than a couple of. Is this a regional thing or a class marker?

It’s widespread and general. Purists, like Garner, decry the omission of of, but it’s firmly entrenched. Couple has been shifting from a noun to an adjective in American speech since the 1920s, and with that the of is unnecessary and ungrammatical. Dozen did the same thing some centuries back; it used to be a dozen of eggs, for instance.

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Posted: 26 April 2017 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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And cf. myriad.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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languagehat - 26 April 2017 06:16 AM

And cf. myriad.

I don’t get your point about myriad.

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