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  1. #1
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    Default Regular or Normal

    Please can someone comment on a "disagreement" I am having with an American person teaching English in this country.

    I believe that the word regular as used in the phrase" regular coke or fries", derives from the American language and is not originally British. I have been taught at school to use the word "normal" and not regular in this context.

    The teacher is disgreeing with me and says that I am not using proper English and any one using the phrase " I want a normal coke" is ignorant!

    Any one like to comment!

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Ormes View Post
    Please can someone comment on a "disagreement" I am having with an American person teaching English in this country.

    I believe that the word regular as used in the phrase" regular coke or fries", derives from the American language and is not originally British. I have been taught at school to use the word "normal" and not regular in this context.

    The teacher is disgreeing with me and says that I am not using proper English and any one using the phrase " I want a normal coke" is ignorant!

    Any one like to comment!
    When it comes to the sizes of soft drinks in fast food restaurants where the phrase "regular Coke and fries" comes from, then regular is the correct word. The sizes are usually small, regular, large and extra large.

    "Normal Coke" is usually used when trying to differentiate between "Diet Coke" and the original version.

    All the wording used in fast food restaurants is generally American-based as that's where the fast food places came from. The same goes for "fries". These kind of fried potatoes are, of course, called "chips" in the UK, but when ordering them at these kinds of places, we always call them "fries".

    I would never expect to hear someone order "normal Coke and fries" in either country, only "regular Coke and fries".

  3. #3
    englishamposta is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    While I agree with the reply given, I wonder what the person meant by calling the other party ignorant for using the term "normal"? Is this a cultural thing? What would this person definition of ignorant be? To me it is quite insulting.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    These kind of fried potatoes are, of course, called "chips" in the UK, but when ordering them at these kinds of places, we always call them "fries".
    .
    I didn't know that! (I knew about the chips, of course, but not that in a fast food place, you'd call them fries.)

    Interesting point about size versus type. I think we would say "regular Coke" or "normal Coke" to differentiate from Diet Coke, Coke Zero, caffeine free, etc, but 'regular" would be a choice. You could then order a large regular Coke and a regular Diet Coke! Eeek!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    Yes, and once upon a time we had a choice of "regular" or "unleaded."

    Now there is such a thing as "regular unleaded."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    Quote Originally Posted by englishamposta View Post
    While I agree with the reply given, I wonder what the person meant by calling the other party ignorant for using the term "normal"? Is this a cultural thing? What would this person definition of ignorant be? To me it is quite insulting.
    My understanding was that the teacher was saying that anyone who asked for a "a normal coke" was ignorant of the correct term, "a regular coke". They would be using the usual definition of "ignorant", meaning to be unaware of something.
    I don't think the teacher was claiming that merely using the term "normal" was a sign of ignorance.

  7. #7
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    In BrEng, 'chips' are fat, '(French) fries' are thin, irrespective of whether you are eating in a fast-food restaurant.

  8. #8
    rosagold is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Regular or Normal

    When I was in the UK,I was a little confused when I saw using the word 'regular' in pubs. I just supposed that that meant a normal size of beer or wine. But it seems that is the term used.

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