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We speak the same language so clearly you don't know what I am saying
  #1  
Old 09-14-2017, 12:13 AM
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Default We speak the same language so clearly you don't know what I am saying

I have noticed this tendency that some people have to forget that English speaking people speak English.

A woman posted about seeing a mouse next to a dresser. She used the term Drawers which is well known in the USA but outdated at least in my area. Clearly she meant a piece of furniture.

However she felt the need to say (to you Americans I don't mean your pants I mean the thing you put your clothes in.)

Here's the thing

1) whether it's Pants or a Dresser was irrelevant to the story about seeing a mouse.

2) The only people in the US I know that use Drawers for clothing mean underwear not pants.

3) Most people mean dressers.

It feels insulting to have someone assume that because you live in the US that magically you don't understand nor speak English as a first language. I do understand some terms shift but the person didn't say "for those that don't know" she specifically called out Americans for being stupid.

I will totally answer any foreign friends when I use a bit of slang or a word in a way they aren't familiar with but I don't just assume they don't get it.

Even funnier she misspelled a famous fictional character's name.
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2017, 04:27 PM
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Just as an aside... as an American, I have not heard the word / read the word "drawers" referring to pants/underpants... like ever. That's if I'm not including period pieces.

Sooooo....

Also, not sure if this is just a New England thing (born and raised) but we constantly switch between "bureau" and "drawers" for a piece of furniture with drawers that holds clothing.

So she was probably trying to appear worldly or smart (and failed.)

The only time I add in additional context for my international friends are things like temp/measurements (since we use mostly imperial and a lot of other countries use metric)... ooorrrr if one of my international friends specifically asks me for some clarification if I post something particularly slang/dialect heavy.

The only reason I do temp/measurements is because I don't want my friends to have to do some math to get an idea of what I'm talking about, so I do it for them. I don't just assume my international friends can't figure out context clues. That's just condescending, if they do have a question, they PM me, I answer and explain, and we go on. But I don't assume, and I definitely DON'T target a specific group of people with the phrase "For you <group>, I mean--"

I would be pretty irritated by her, especially considering that

A) Again, we don't use the word "drawers" to mean underwear (as least where I'm from), though I do believe the UK uses "pants" to mean underwear. Trousers is our pants over there. So if there was a word that she SHOULD'VE translated, it should've been PANTS;

B) Where I'm from, in America, we USE drawers to mean dresser/bureau/etc.

Last edited by AmbrosiaWriter; 09-18-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2017, 04:14 AM
Tanasi Tanasi is offline
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In my AO when referring to underwear drawers is pronounced differently. The a is drawn out into an "aww" sounds but thats mostly how I've heard blacks folks pronounce it. When speaking of furniture the word drawers is usually prefaced such as dresser or chest-of.
If someone from another part of the country said drawers I would mostly rely on the context of the conversation.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:39 PM
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When I hear 'drawers' I think dresser drawers so her explanation was unneeded. I could understand if she said 'davenport' since that's a town in Iowa, a thin, long desk w/ drawers and also a sofa/couch.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:41 PM
Daskinor Daskinor is offline
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:24 PM
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Ultimately I think the thing is that you shouldn't assume that an entire group of people don't know what you mean and that they can't get it from context.

Even if I had thought she meant underwear I would have noticed quickly that the properties she was giving the drawers were not underwear like. Then I would have looked up the word to see it's other definitions.

I know all of the terms for pop and for couches because over the years when I ran into words I didn't know I did what every kid is told to do and I looked them up. I never explained a word's meaning unless I was making it up.

I even know what a Davenport is. Again because I looked it up, not this time but my grandmother had a Davenport my mom said and I didn't know what she was talking about.

Writer's should never generalize that a whole group of people doesn't know what they are talking about when it comes to common words.

A good rule of thumb is that if it's a common word usage where you live then it's likely that other people who speak the same language either know it or can easily look it up. Only if the word is considered archaic should you be explaining it to people.

So many people got mad at me for calling her out on it but if the both of us had been at a party and she'd stopped to explain "to the stupid people in the room" what the word she used meant everyone would be mad at her not me.

It's interesting that making it a story told online suddenly shifts who's being a pedantic asshole for daring to be upset at being called a moron.
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