Language Observations

So far during our trip it’s been very interesting watching my friend try to distinguish between British and American accents.  It’s something I can easily and automatically do but that I’ve never really thought about.  It’s fascinating to see the differences through new eyes and the methods she uses to differentiate the language.

Later I saw a sign in the Tube that read: “We are transforming your Tube.”  What surprised me was the use of “your” in the sentence.  It evoked the sense that the Tube is for the people, that it’s theirs, and repairs are being done to make it even better, to improve “your” life.  Interesting how one little word can change everything.

Then, later, in Starbucks, this sign: “To protect the quality of our coffee, we ask you not to smoke.”  Not only was there not simply a sign that directly told you not to smoke, but this sign asked you not to smoke.  Furthermore, it gave a reason for this.  I have yet to see anything like this in America and it’s definitely unheard of, in my experience, in Russia.  I was shocked.

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