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  1. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Andrew - I have never had any interest whatsoever in traveling to discover more of Europe (quite possibly for the simple reason that I was born here). I have had zilch interest as far back as I can remember. And when going to France/Germany on school trips I can distinctly remember counting the days until I would be going back home! Hence, I never studied foreign language at school. But I do not wish to sound arrogant here or show any disrespect - I am just being honest about what interests me and what does not.

    I had massive opportunities when living in London for seven years to meet/talk to Americans. But, like most British people living in London, I kept my head down and never spoke to anyone! (it's just the way it is in the capital).

    A friend of mine told me (about 20 years ago) that they once caught the train from Michigan to California, and that the journey took either 3 or 5 days. I am pretty certain that it was one single train journey without having to change en-route. However, this was some time back and I may be incorrect.
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 19-Jun-2017 at 12:25. Reason: Spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English.

  2. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    You should change your signature. It will not be understood by people who have never heard of GCSE.

    Those who do know what it means will assume you are of school age.
    I have explained (see post #5 above) what 'GCSE' is for anyone who is unfamiliar with this qualification. If someone really wants to delve deeper into it's meaning then they are most welcome to ask me, or else run a quick search on Google (which would take 30 seconds).

    I have stated I am a 'mature' student (in my 'signature') so as to cause any confusion over my age. For your information, there are thousands of U.K. adult learners who are in the process of gaining a qualification in later-life (and for a variety of reasons!). Therefore, it would be inaccurate to generalize and assume, just because it is a qualification taken predominantly by pre-school-leavers, that everyone is of the age 16 and below.

    I have also checked the 'display birth-date' in 'my settings' in case anyone wishes to check upon my age. Secondly, I think my avatar clearly confirms that I am not a school-child!
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 19-Jun-2017 at 12:43. Reason: Spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English.

  3. Moderator
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    #13

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlicks View Post
    A friend of mine told me (about 20 years ago) that they once caught the train from Michigan to California, and that the journey took either 3 or 5 days. I am pretty certain that it was one single train journey without having to change en-route. However, this was some time back and I may be incorrect.
    You can indeed take a train from a few cities in Michigan to California with a change in Chicago. I think you have to spend the night in Chicago. Train travel in the US can be a lot of fun, but you have to understand that you can only get to a few places, and usually on an inconvenient, sporadic schedule. For example, if you want to take a train east from Cincinnati, Ohio, you have to board at 3:00 am or so (if it happens to be on time, which is rare) on one of the three days a week that it operates.

    There's regular train service on the west coast and in the northeast corridor from Washington, DC to Boston and onward to Montreal.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You can indeed take a train from a few cities in Michigan to California with a change in Chicago. I think you have to spend the night in Chicago. Train travel in the US can be a lot of fun, but you have to understand that you can only get to a few places, and usually on an inconvenient, sporadic schedule. For example, if you want to take a train east from Cincinnati, Ohio, you have to board at 3:00 am or so (if it happens to be on time, which is rare) on one of the three days a week that it operates.
    Very interesting, thanks.

    Ha ha, the reliability factor of U.S. trains can not possibly be any worse than here in the U.K. In fact anything to do with travel/transport is utterly dreadful here!

    Those 'connection' times sound totally bizarre. As you may (or may not) know, everything here in the U.K. goes to sleep at midnight!
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 19-Jun-2017 at 14:59. Reason: Spelling
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    #15

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlicks View Post
    Ha ha, the reliability factor of U.S. trains can not possibly be any worse than here in the U.K. In fact anything to do with travel/transport is utterly dreadful here!
    I hate to disillusion you, MJL, but in fact you live in railroad paradise. I know that British passengers are plagued by delays, but they are nothing compared to those suffered over here. And at least you have a national passenger rail network. Most of ours had disappeared by 1975.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    Skrej - got around to you finally!

    Yes, I am asking about 'vocabulary' as regards to 'writing'. And with a view to writing dialogue in a text/story (I mean it's not a script for a 'play' or anything like that!).

    I was not aware that Meler had a dedicated site, thanks. I saw the book/CD on Amazon when I was browsing for related items yesterday. As far as I remember, there were no reviews of the book (or confirmed purchases). Anyway, I will definitely give the 'IDEA' site a look, cheers. New to me also is the 'DARE' site which does sound interesting. Anything is helpful at my stage! Ha ha.

    I will have a look on Amazon for the Neil Gaiman book ('American Gods') you recommend. Terry Pratchett is very popular over here, of course, although he is not an author I follow.

    The U.K. has had problems with trains since time began. The main problem being they built all brand new trains 20 years ago and then realized they had not updated the tracks. And so the gauge was totally wrong - which set everything back another decade (maybe longer!). Trains are ALWAYS delayed and break-down. The train companies are famous for blaming "leaves on the tracks"!

    I only thought of coffee shops as a good starting point for meeting people because very often (during busy times) you share a table. And so it seemed logical that it would make a good conversational environment. However, as I said earlier, in London you would be lucky to get more than a couple of words out of anyone!
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 19-Jun-2017 at 19:55. Reason: Spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English.

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    #17

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    If you go to Detroit or LA (I just assume this since you mentioned MI, CA) I doubt people will be in a chatty mood with a stranger. You might want to explore other smaller cities where people do have time to chat and not have to be on run all the time.

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    #18

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    I disagree. You'll find people to chat with anywhere you go. For example, I recently had a very nice conversation in Los Angeles with a Dutch guy who lived in the neighborhood where I was waiting for an optician's office to open.
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    #19

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    For 15 minutes or less (and that's generous, usually the conversation only lasts 5 minutes) perhaps but if he wants to really get into the culture, language, etc it would require an extended conversation which simply can't take place in an doctor's office's waiting area.

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    #20

    Re: Help With U.S. Dialect/Slang Question

    We were on a bench on the sidewalk, actually. He seemed to want to continue chatting, but I had somewhere else to be so I had to end the conversation.

    I've had a number of long, pleasant chats with strangers in Los Angeles. While drinking a coffee at the Coffee Bean in Pacific Palisades, an older man sat down with me. It turned out his daughter had been in my French class in high school. We shared stories about the terrific French teacher his daughter and I had shared. I was, again, the one who cut the conversation short.

    Another time, my father and I got in a conversation with a French woman at the Malibu Lagoon. She asked us for advice about where to visit in the area. We conversed for quite a while, until looming fog persuaded me it was time to head home.
    I am not a teacher.

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