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    #1

    alma mater

    alma mater
    Is this AmE? If so, what is the British equivalent?
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: alma mater

    Old school/university


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    #3

    Re: alma mater

    I see. So 'alma mater' is not used in the UK, right?

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    #4

    Re: alma mater

    You can use it in BrE; but it often has a faintly humorous air.

    (Oddly enough, someone used it – humorously – in an email to me this morning.)

    MrP

    Edit: added missing "it"
    Last edited by MrPedantic; 09-Dec-2005 at 23:37.


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    #5

    Re: alma mater

    Thank you very much.
    humorously
    Is it incorrect usage?

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    #6

    Re: alma mater

    It's correct, but we don't use it, so it would be a conscious import from American English. We could use it sarcastically- I have heard it used meaning 'prison' in the UK. Because it's not a normal usage, there would have to be a reason, and humour, irony, etc, are, as Mr Pedantic says, the most obvious reasons.


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    #7

    Re: alma mater

    Thank you very much. 'Humorous' in such a case is 'funny or strange'?

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    #8

    Re: alma mater

    Hello Itasan

    It would be "humorous" as in "mild joke".

    If I called my old school my "alma mater", it would have an air of grandiosity. The grandiosity would be humorous (ironic), since it isn't the custom to speak seriously of your old school in BrE.

    But you would have to be sure that your interlocutor knew what "alma mater" meant. Otherwise the irony would be lost.

    MrP


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    #9

    Re: alma mater

    Thank you very much, MrPedantic.

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