Culture shock can be fun to experience at times. When it comes to language, there certainly are many differences to go around. Hearing the term court shoes in the United States obviously makes you think of footwear for the court: namely the tennis court and basketball court. While in England, don’t expect to grab a catalog entitled court shoes and expect to see sports gear. Instead you will be surprised to find some fantastic dress heels or opera slippers.
Languages have evolved over time. It has been reported that there are over 6,000 languages in use today and approximately 30% are spoken by 1,000 people or less. That certainly is a lot of languages to be spoken in this small planet we all call home. But even within just the same language, there are different meanings.
Take for example the word holiday. Those in the United States refer to holiday as a day on the calendar when most stores and offices are closed in celebration or reverence of some event. Canada and other parts of the world refer to “holiday” as a vacation time to take off. Even within the same west coast, you could ask for a soda in Southern California and get a Coke or 7Up handed to you. If you ask for a soda in Washington state, you will receive just that, a bottle of club soda. That’s not as tasty as a Coke.
The other comical thing about the English language is its spelling and meaning. For example, number and number. It’s the same word, spelled the same, yet entirely different meanings. If you ponder over the topic of spelling, that doesn’t help the situation either. Words such as potato can also be spelled potatoe. Next time you are on a holiday ask for a soda and see what they hand you.