On Pants and the English Language

27 Jun

Quote of the day:

“I refute you!”                                                                                                                                       Josie Carter

Use this one in an argument. It really works. No one knows quite what to say, so they just dissolve, especially if said in a Simba from The Lion King manner. Another that really works is “Do not mock me, for my words are a matter of pride!

DISCLAIMER: I am about to offend anyone on here who speaks American English. If you indeed do speak American English and are reading this, my advice would be to stop reading. Now. Okay, I put this up. Continue at your own peril!

I think I gave the game away a bit here.

Remember how I promised ranting? (It’s at the top of by page. Really, you should have noticed by now.)  I haven’t done a rant before*.

I’m doing one now.


My first rant is about pants. Now let me show you a picture or two.

What do you call these?

I couldn't really bring myself to put up the actual item. They're too heinous.

Mah. They’re badly aligned and everything. So whatever.

Okay, now a small question: what do you call a) the first item b) the second item.

If you say a) Trousers and b) Pants, well done, you’re either British, speak British English or have lived in a British English speaking country for a long time (hey, Chasing Venus…). If you say a) Pants and b) underwear or underpants** then bad! You speak American English.

Now what really annoys me is that– and I’ll sound super(dooper, tally ho, ewld chap) English Upper-Class Twit of the Year here, but okay. 4th of July 1776. Voila, independence. Yep, you’ll become a world superpower. Sure, keep our language. (um, I only know this from watching episodes of Hetalia***, so I’m not sure it happened exactly like that.) But the point is, why change it? And why take over the world with it? I see so many flavors  and favors and thrus and centers and dialogs that it drives me crazy!

Here’s some Eddie Izzard to back me up.

It’s a really interesting topic  and if I did horribly offend you, tell me why. I’ll apologise, and then sit in a dark corner, fuming. Okay?

*Well, not a proper one anyway 😀

**If you answer b) in this way and are a British English speaker, you’re forgiven. If anyone said b) T-shirt, then you’re also forgiven, but only just.

***Doitsu, Doitsu! Did you know I can recite entire chunks of the script? I know my stuff.

POSTSCRIPT: One other thing that annoys me is the American use of ‘ass’. Ass means donkey. Whenever I see something like ‘That’s a sweet-ass car’ or ‘I bought a bad-ass scarf’, I always move the hyphen (in my brain, I’m not telekinetic. Bah. (although that would be awesome)) one word to the left.

4 Responses to “On Pants and the English Language”

  1. deadpoet88 June 28, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Ah…I answered “trousers” for the first, and “underwear” for the second…so what does that make me??

  2. pienbiscuits July 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    The first will always be trousers and the second pants. This is the correct use of the English language. Let nothing get in the way of the righteousness of our use of words. Yes, we are British, damnit. What is an ass, but a Donkey. An arse on the other hand…

    • EricDoesNotExist August 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

      I’m not sure I want an arse on my hand. 😉

      Quite right, my friend! We must not lose sight of our quest to banish ‘asses’ from the british tongue (except for when concerning donkeys, naturally).

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