Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Can I Get a Latte

Americanisms are creeping into our language; I may even use some myself. Without ever crossing the pond it is inevitable due to the amount of received media from the US. The only real problem is they are distinctly different languages which have a fairly recent common base, which means we can just about converse, albeit with a degree of difficulty. Some American idioms, I don’t mind ,some I abhor, some I just don’t “GET”

On the ferry to Calais I was behind an American citizen at the bar who said “Can I get a latte” well the short answer is NO that is the barista’s job, he may ask for a latte, please. Today I was behind an Englishwoman at a garage shop, she asked,”Can I get 40 Bensons” now there some possibilities;

1,  NO, you may only get items from the self service area.

2, NO, the area behind the counter is a secure area and you cannot enter.

3, YES, next customer please.

4, You may be able to get your fags if:

                                                           A, We have them in stock

                                                           B, You are over 18 yrs.

                                                           C, you have adequate amount of coin of the realm.


What is wrong with “40 Bensons please” a simple polite request, just as punchy and to the point as “Can I get” which is simply confusing, “Can I get?” you see it’s obviously a question, not a request.

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