The Great Conundrums Of Our Time.... Why does...?

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Offline CliffordK

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Why do Fir trees have Pine cones, but Pine trees don't have Fir cones?

If you order French Toast in the USA, you get bread fried in an egg/milk batter.  What do you get when you order French Toast in France?

Why do Americans consider French Fries as being part of an "All-American Meal"?

Actually, I have the answer to the last one.  What the French don't realize is that Potatoes are an All-American Food! [;D] (well, actually from South America to be more precise).

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2011 00:23:31 »
Why don't the cornfields in the UK have any corn in them?

When is a jet engine not a jet engine?
« Last Edit: 25/07/2011 00:28:53 by Geezer »
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #2 on: 25/07/2011 02:39:25 »
Why do Fir trees have Pine cones, but Pine trees don't have Fir cones?

They are both in the Pinaceae family  [;D]   

Geezer, I have never heard of a corn field without corn......
« Last Edit: 25/07/2011 02:42:16 by Airthumbs »
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2011 03:14:03 »
Geezer, I have never heard of a corn field without corn......

In the UK, most of the corn you see in the corn fields is more likely to be wheat or barley, because "corn" is a generic term for a grain crop. In the US, corn usually refers to the stuff also known as sweetcorn or maize.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #4 on: 25/07/2011 13:48:15 »
FIRE ESCAPE - I've yet to see a fire escape through one.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #5 on: 25/07/2011 16:07:20 »
Well, the French think that the Belgians invented chips i.e. fried potatoes.
The Americans don't understand what chips are and get them muddled with crisps.

Why do the Americans not seem to understand that "American English" is a contradiction in terms and "British English" only serves to piss off the Welsh and Scots?
My guess is that the Mayflower wasn't big enough for a decent dictionary (or a set of measuring jugs).

On an  vaguely related note, why do people put signs on doors saying "This door is alarmed", why don't they just calm it down a bit.
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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #6 on: 25/07/2011 16:42:14 »
My guess is that the Mayflower wasn't big enough for a decent dictionary (or a set of measuring jugs).
Actually, it was the British that fouled up the volume measurements.

The "Wine Gallon" was apparently used in Britain back to the 14th century (prior to the Mayflower), and was specified by statute in 1707 as 231 cubic inches.

In 1826 (after the USA became an independent country), Britain redefined the imperial gallon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_gallon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon#History

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #7 on: 25/07/2011 16:49:54 »
Why is it that in the USA, one picks up and carries a football in one's hands.
But, in Britain, one is told never to touch a football with one's hands.

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #8 on: 25/07/2011 17:14:56 »
Boxing match - will any of them ever make a match box?

Strawberry - Its not composed of straw and its not a berry.
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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #9 on: 25/07/2011 17:39:23 »
If people from the USA are Americans.

What about people from Canada, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela?

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Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #10 on: 25/07/2011 18:00:00 »
What I would like to know is who messed up the monetary system.  What I mean by this is, a billion pounds is not a million million but a thousand million. 
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #11 on: 25/07/2011 18:44:23 »
What I would like to know is who messed up the monetary system.  What I mean by this is, a billion pounds is not a million million but a thousand million.

Whew, I didn't think your money devalued that quickly!!!

Yes,
There are two number scales, the "American" and the "British". 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers

I'm not see the origin of the discrepancy, but values above a million, billion, or trillion are used rarely, and perhaps it wasn't well communicated when the countries split in 1776.

Computers have been introducing the use of very large metric prefixes which are now entering into common usage.
kilobytes
megabytes
gigabytes
terabytes,
petabytes,
...  etc. 

I wonder how long until I can buy a yottabyte computer?

Anyway, the British are apparently now adopting the American numerical system to avoid confusion.

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #12 on: 25/07/2011 18:47:01 »
Why do the Americans not seem to understand that "American English" is a contradiction in terms and "British English" only serves to piss off the Welsh and Scots?

Why isn't the King's English taught at the King's College?

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #13 on: 26/07/2011 09:44:33 »
Why isn't the King's English taught at the King's College?

They do - or if they don't my niece has some explaining to do; ie what she has been doing for the last two years if it wasn't English at KCL
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #14 on: 26/07/2011 10:23:15 »
Computers have been introducing the use of very large metric prefixes which are now entering into common usage.
kilobytes
megabytes
gigabytes
terabytes,
petabytes,
...  etc. 


Just goes to show how little we have advanced in 526 million years. Back then they already had Trilobites!!!
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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #15 on: 26/07/2011 17:25:09 »
Why isn't the King's English taught at the King's College?

They do - or if they don't my niece has some explaining to do; ie what she has been doing for the last two years if it wasn't English at KCL
I thought everything in England was the Queen's English.

Or...  BBC English.

Now...  why don't we have PBS English?

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #16 on: 27/07/2011 01:24:04 »
Once again, the failure to take a dictionary on the Mayflower  explains our transatlantic cousins' lack of awareness of "milliard" the proper word for a thousand million.
IIRC BNC taught English  as spoken by a number of monarchs.
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