The Queen’s English is so literal

One thing that we’ve really enjoyed about being in the UK is the usage of colloquialisms all over the place and on things in which you would normally expect to find more formal language. Signage, for example, seems to be a common place. My favorite below is the “Twenty’s Plenty” as a speed limit sign. Though the bluntness of the “Elderly People” and “Way out” signs are pretty good too. I think that in the US, road signs would tend to be a lot more formal. Perhaps there are examples of the same phenomenon?

We also found plenty of examples on food packaging. Now food packaging in the US wouldn’t necessarily always have formal language. But we were often amused by the names given to products. The orange juice comes either with or without “juicy bits” rather than pulp. And whipped cream dispensed under pressure is called, “squirty cream.” Similarly, honey in a bottle was called, “squeezy clear honey.” I mean, I guess the descriptions are accurate!

Published by devinberg

Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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