Thursday, 14 February 2008

Trundlers by any Other Name

They is funny things is words.

Here a shopping trolley or a shopping cart is a trundler. In North America it's a buggy. In France it's a chariot but you would expect it to be something different in France. Actually in France the latest ones (which I've never seen anywhere else) are vastly superior to the universal wire version.

Of course as languages develop in separate countries differences appear. As CJ learned from his American colleague 'waste paper basket' which is used in the UK is the modern form and 'trash can' is not a modern Americanism but the old English which, for once, the Americans have not altered.

After all, when speaking of England and America ‘Two nations separated by a common language.’ sometimes the inquirer asks, ‘Was it Wilde or Shaw?’ The answer appears to be: both. In The Canterville Ghost (1887), Wilde wrote: ‘We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language’. However, the 1951 Treasury of Humorous Quotations (Esar & Bentley) quotes Shaw as saying: ‘England and America are two countries separated by the same language’, but without giving a source. The quote had earlier been attributed to Shaw in Reader’s Digest (November 1942). And that's just a few of the attributions.

But, hey, I was really just talking of New Zealand and trundlers. So if you ever want to park your shopping trolley in this country (a long way if you are in the Coop in Stornoway) you just look for the Trundler Park.

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