So Rory, aka, A Guy Called Bloke, came up with this game where we are supposed to “look at each of the word pairs below and say which word you use and why your choice of word is better than the other word.”
Then Rory said to nominate between 1 – 3 bloggers of our own to play the game and to explain why you have chosen that blogger.
But wait, there’s more. He wrote, “Additionally, add two of your own words that you may have confusion with.”
Rory tagged Melanie, aka, Sparks From a Combustible Mind, who then tagged me. Why did she tag me? She said she tagged me because I am “another wordsmith” and she thinks I “might have fun with this.” Then she said something about me being a nude skier. Don’t ask!
Anyway, here are Rory’s original word pairs. But before I get into saying which is “right,” let me say that I’m an American and most of the “which is right” choices are choices between the American word and the British word. So, of course, to me, the American word is right.
Mine = Herbs/Yours = Erbs
I’ve never seen the word “erbs” in writing or in print. In fact, my autocorrect keeps trying to change it to “webs.” Herbs are plants with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is supposed to have 11 herbs and spices. So is the choice really more about which word is correct or which pronunciation is correct? In America, the “h” in “herbs” is silent, so it’s pronounced like “erbs.” I’m not sure if, in the Queen’s English, the “h” is pronounced. They do strange things with h’s and with u’s across the pond.
Mine = Socks/Yours = Sox
The article of clothing you wrap your feet in is a sock. The baseball team that won this year’s World Series is the Sox — the Boston Red Sox.
Mine = CV/Yours = Resume
Either is right. Many job openings for positions in science and technology call for the submission of a CV (curriculum vitae). But it’s much more common — and less pretentious — in the States to use the word “resume.”
Mine = Ring Someone/Yours = Call Someone
When you want to get engaged or married, you give them a ring. When you want to talk on the phone, you call them. Period. End of discussion.
Mine = Rubbish Bin/Yours = Trash Can
I call it trash, because to me, “rubbish” is a synonym for “bullshit.” That said, when I put my trash by the curb for the weekly collection, I put it in trash bins.
Mine = Secondary School/Yours = High School
I went to an elementary school (not a grammar school), a junior high school (not a middle school), and a high school (not a secondary school). So there you go.
Mine = Lift/Yours = Elevator
“Lift” is a verb meaning to raise up, haul, heave, elevate. An “elevator” is something you step into to move from one floor to another in a multi-story building. So when in America, you use an elevator, not a lift. But I guess something can lift you up or can elevate you.
Mine = Ground Floor/Yours = First Floor
In many buildings, the ground floor and the first floor are the same, but in some buildings, the ground floor is below the first floor. For example, the ground floor of an office building could be comprised of a lobby and perhaps some retail stores or cafés, while the offices start on the floor above and it’s referred to as the first floor. So both could be right.
Mine = Holiday/Yours = Vacation
Christmas is a holiday, as is Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and other such days. When you go away from home for a week or two, you’re going on vacation. Simple, right?
Mine = Post Code/Yours = Zip Code
In the U.S., we have zip codes. Canada has postal codes. Both are right, depending upon where you live or where you’re mailing something to.
Mine = Jumper/Yours = Sweater
A “jumper” is someone who is standing on the roof of a tall building or on a bridge and is considering jumping in an effort to take his or her life. A “sweater” is something you wear, either for fashion or to keep you warm. Of course, a “sweater” could also be how you might describe someone who sweats a lot.
Mine = Lorry/Yours = Semi
I don’t use either. I use the word “truck,” and, for a large truck, I call it an “18-wheeler.”
Mine = Crisp/Yours = Chip
Bacon can be crisp. Cold air can be crisp. But a wafer-thin slice of potato that is fried or baked and eaten as a snack is a chip. And unless they’re stale, potato chips should be crispy.
Mine = Chips/Yours = Fries
Chips are wafer-thin slices of potatoes that are fried or baked and eaten as a snack. Fries are potatoes cut into strips and deep-fried. You may order fish and chips or a burger and fries, but no matter what you call them, they are fries.
Mine = Courgette/Yours = Zucchini
Zucchini. I’ve never heard the word “courgette.”
Mine = Aubergine/Yours = Eggplant
This is an eggplant emoji, not an aubergine emoji. ‘Nuff said.
Mine = Football/Yours = Soccer
Soccer is a sport that uses a round ball ⚽️ and where you can’t use your hands unless you’re the goalie. A football a prolate spheroid shaped ball 🏈 and the sport is much less boring than soccer.
And here are the ones Melanie added:
Mine = cookie/Yours = biscuit
In the U.S., a cookie is a small, typically round, flat, and crisp (but could be soft) baked good. A biscuit is a small, typically round cake of bread leavened with baking powder, baking soda, or sometimes yeast. I’d rather have a cookie than a biscuit, but I prefer biscuits in gravy to cookies in gravy. I’m just saying.
Mine = time off/Yours = leave
Both are correct, but to me, time off is shorter term, like from a few hours to a few days. But leave is longer term, as in I need to take maternity (or paternity) leave.
And here are my two adds:
Mine = Soda/Yours = Pop
Mine = Sub/Yours = Hoagie
I’m not tagging anyone in particular. If you want to play, please feel free to do so.