Thursday, January 28, 2010

(American) English is such a Funny Language

Genre: Life

When you come from India to USA, you have to learn a lot of new things.

Like, when you are in USA, you don’t walk on footpaths. You walk on Sidewalks.

You don’t cross the roads at Zebra Crossings. You do it at Crosswalks.

You don’t drive on National Highways. You take the Interstates.

When you run out of fuel, you do not stop at a Petrol Pump. You stop at a Gas Station.

And, you don’t pay with notes. You pay with Bills.

You don’t stop at Red Signals. You stop at Traffic Lights.

You will not see any Railways. You see Railroads.

The trains that run on these tracks do not have coaches. They have Cars.

Also, they are not driven by Loco Pilots. They are driven by Engineers.

Trains have Conductors, but buses don’t!

On the roads, there are no Dust Bins. There are only Trash Cans.

Also, on the roads, there are no Taxis. There are only cabs.

There are no Police Jeep either. Only Cop Cars everywhere.

Even if you are a graduate student, you don’t go to college. You go to School.

And, at school, you never submit any of your homework. You turn it in.


  1. To add some more,
    At a restaurant, you dont ask for the bill and pay by check, you ask for the check and pay by bills (notes) or cards
    Lifts are called elevators here

  2. Highways are called Freeways

    Toilets are called restrooms

    Cheeseburger contains meat

    Chilly in India= Chile in US
    Chilly in US= Some beef gravy
    (I made this mistake last week and ended up eating beef)

  3. @Adil
    Well said.
    Lifts and elevators are used interchangably here and in India too.

    All highways are NOT "freeways", which itself is an informal mostly-California specific nomenclature. Everywhere else, especially on the entire East Coast, they are always referred to as "Interstates" or even more commonly with numbers like "I-95"

    I missed toilets = restrooms :)

    I know LOTS of veggie desis who have ended up eating beef after ordering Cheeseburger!

    Chilly in India = Green Pepper in USA (I haven't come across Chile anywhere!) but yes, Chili is beef gravy!

  4. Interstates are roads that are in more than one state...there r lot of those in california too...but more of freeways i guess.

    Green peppers are the big chillies...somewhat like jalapenos...and capsicums = bell peppers

    I knew that chilli was some beef gravy dish...but i didnt expect THAT in chilly cheese fries.

  5. @Zai
    "Interstate Highway System (or simply the Interstate), is a network of limited-access highways (also called freeways or expressways) in the United States" (Source: Wikipedia).

    What you call "freeways" in Los Angeles are actually Interstate-5 and Interstate-10. If you drive on these roads and look for signs, you'll find red and blue signs with "I-5" and "I-10" written. More on it here.

  6. Yea, 5, 10 and 110 are the main freeawys here.

    I forgot one more thing-

    soft drink= pop

    Next time someone asks you if you what sort of pop you want, you know what it means :)

  7. @Zai
    I-110 would be a spur or branch of I-10. The numbering of Interstates is pretty interesting. Read the Wikipedia article on it. BTW, I-5 is the most important north-south route on the West Coast running from Canada to Mexico while I-10 is its east-west equivalent running from LA to Jacksonville,Florida! But probably the most popular route in USA is I-95 running from Boston, through New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC all the way to Miami. In fact the NY-PA-DC area is regularly referred to as "I-95 Corridor" in news and weather reports too!

    Cold-drinks are "pop" on West coast. Here on the East, it is "soda".

  8. There are no lorries here and tires (not tyres) have flats... you move into a condo!

  9. I so totally understand the sentiments!!


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