One of the things that’s fun about living in a country that’s not your own is discovering random idiosyncracies that say so much about a place. I’m a bit of a word nerd, so many of those idiosyncracies are focused around language. I love perusing the local newspaper to see what odd or overly-dramatic headlines someone has plugged in to head a story or caption a photo with. For example, this:
A pair of trainers were stolen from Trinity Foyer in XX Street, XX, between 9am on Monday, September 12 and 12pm on Wednesday, September 14.”
Trainers, for those who don’t know, are what Americans call sneakers. Is it newsworthy that said trainers were stolen? Hmm… I’ll let you decide.
I pass a sign nearly every day about something called “Flytipping.” Apparently, flytipping can land you a major fine or jail time, though I am not sure just what flytipping is. It may have something to do with rubbish bins. This makes me think of my home in rural Lancaster County, where restless youngsters have been reported to engage in a sport called “cow tipping.” While not punishable by law, so far as I know, (and actually not physically possible, but let’s pretend) it does make for an amusing vision. Picture this court scene, as the victim is sworn in: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, uh … er, … cud?” “Moo.”