Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Closed Captions for Yanks

Just who the hell is Mariella Frostrup anyway?
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

I was watching several episodes of Coupling on DVD at a friend's house the other day. It is a very cleverly written show.

Because I'm American, I found that there were two or three references per episode to something uniquely British, leaving me out of the joke. For example, one character claimed to have overdosed on a drug, but it was soon revealed that the dose was only "two paracetamol." Huh? Never heard of it. Even the people I was watching with, who lived in England for several years, didn't get it.

(I later looked it up on Google, it is the European trade name for what is known as Tylenol here. Ah, now I get the joke!)

It occurred to me that the DVD format could easily solve this problem. When an obscure or regional reference occurs in the show, optionally show an icon at the edge of the screen that indicates there is an explanation. (Like the optional "Follow the White Rabbit" mode on the first Matrix DVD). If you didn't get the reference, press ENTER on your remote and a text balloon appears to explain it.

Clearly this would only be an optional feature engaged only by viewers who need it.

This idea could also apply to other British imports such as Monty Python, Benny Hill, and so on. In fact, it might be useful in any international film, to explain regional or cultural references.

krelnik, Jul 13 2004

Modify this. http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/ICML
(Shameless elf-promotion) [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

thoughts on the meaning of cream-crackered/knackered http://www.worldwid....org/qa/qa-cre2.htm
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

HB Map http://www.geocitie...adradish/halfb.html
For [wagster] [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Girl Herself http://www.bbc.co.u...dio4/arts/openbook/
Is better on Radio 4 than she is good looking...and she is good looking! [gnomethang, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Pobol Y Cwm http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymru/pobolycwm/
A fine sitcom, acted in an entirely made up language by a team of disfigured miscreants. [calum, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Paracetamol vs. acetaminophen http://bmj.bmjjourn...t/full/313/7058/689
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Who invented television? http://www.physlink...skExperts/ae408.cfm
Ask the Experts (yuk yuk) [Size_Mick, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Etymology of Aluminum http://www.vanderkr...ements/elem/al.html
Just so everything is clear [Size_Mick, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

James Burke ("Connections" creator) http://www.palmersg...rke/burke_main.html
Fansite [Size_Mick, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

"Here" it is. http://www.juvalamu.com/qmarks/
The Gallery of "Misused" Quotation Marks [gnomethang, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Saying Yes ("Hashishin" source) http://www.amazon.c...102-6216692-1052159
An interesting opinion piece on drug law. [disbomber, Apr 10 2005]

[link]






       I like it, having lived inthe states for a year I get some references that my mates don't so it'll work both ways across the pond
scubadooper, Jul 13 2004
  

       Just don't forget the Canuck version eh.
Hoser.
  

       Well, I've always thought obscurity was a natural thing that arose to give one evolutionary advantage ...
Butterfly effect.
dpsyplc, Jul 13 2004
  

       Well I'm against. One of the things that I enjoy most about the 'bakery is actively finding out something about all the obscure references that I read here. If the truth be told, I probably spend more time researching stuff here than reading the ideas.
DrBob, Jul 13 2004
  

       So *that's* what Tylenol is.
calum, Jul 13 2004
  

       Hah, the British imports to which you refer would require a great deal of ENTER pressing.
The worst would probably be the "Carry on.." series.
The knights who say "Ni" would probably require both sides of the pond to press ENTER.
Ling, Jul 13 2004
  

       We could do with that kind of thing in the UK for US imports too.   

       Used to confuse the hell out of me that people would have jelly in their sandwiches. Or peanut butter for that matter, but the latter wasn't a cultural misunderstanding thing.
-alx, Jul 13 2004
  

       Not sure why you are against an optional feature, DrBob. Indeed, if for some reason your research on a reference turned up nothing, at least you'd have one last place to turn.
krelnik, Jul 13 2004
  

       It'd be useful for me here on the halfbakery where I am often compelled to ask what British terms mean.
bristolz, Jul 13 2004
  

       Sure, why not? If it's good enough for the Wachofksi...Wackofski...Wac...oh, hell...the Matrix brothers, it's good enough for me.
shapu, Jul 13 2004
  

       As nice as this would be for the DVD buying neophyte Anglophile, it's niche and inadequate solution to the underying problem, namely the lack of British Cultural Hegemony.   

       Anyway, if a joke is couched in a terminological parochialism, you won't find it funny when you decipher the language. There'll merely be a flat "Ah, so that's what they meant" - by having the timing knackered by some intermediary step between hearing and understanding, the heart of the joke is ripped out. (This is why Russian films are never funny, except to the Russians.) If you simply hear the joke and never attain undertstanding, the joke at least still has the potential to be funny. It remains in limbo, granted, but is that not better than being dead?
calum, Jul 13 2004
  

       At least I know what “knackered” means. Sort of.
bristolz, Jul 13 2004
  

       I find that writing on the halfbakery I have started to compromise my "we invented the language so we decide how to use it" attitude. Hearteningly, there was a discussion about the tube recently without much confusion as to what the tube is or what it does (go look it up!). I'd love to get a geographical breakdown on the participants, but due to the wonderful anonymity of the web, this is unlikely to happen.
wagster, Jul 13 2004
  

       how can your name be bristolz if you don't have a good command of english vernacular? just curious. it's kind of a strange name if you're not from england.   

       Elf promotion? (link)
schematics, Jul 13 2004
  

       //you won't find it funny//
Granted. But gags aside, sometimes (as in the example I gave) the whole rest of the scene doesn't make any sense if you don't know the tidbit.
  

       For example: Mariella Frostrup had a cameo in one of the episodes I watched, after one character admitted having a crush on her. When she was first mentioned, I was able to piece together from the dialog that she is a news presenter and/or celebrity.   

       But having never seen her, I of course did not recognizer when she did show up. I did not understand why this character reacted the way he did when he bumped into her in the bar. The rest of the scene made no sense to me. (I figured it out about three scenes later).
krelnik, Jul 13 2004
  

       //you won't find it funny when you decipher the language. There'll merely be a flat "Ah, so that's what they meant"//   

       But the next time one heard a joke with that reference the hearer wouldn't be handicapped by his/her ignorance.
Ichthus, Jul 13 2004
  

       Mmmmmm Mariella Frostrup. Radio 4?. Open Book?. Husky Voice with the promise of future intimacy?. A very good broadcaster too.
Ahem!
gnomethang, Jul 13 2004
  

       //I'd love to get a geographical breakdown on the participants//   

       SIR! Houston, Texas, SIR!
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 14 2004
  

       //I'd love to get a geographical breakdown on the participants// Edmonton, North Redneckistan
schematics, Jul 14 2004
  

       [contracts], out of interest, which part of the dialogue between Dave and Arnold didn't you understand? Was it bog roll?
spiritualized, Jul 14 2004
  

       [krelnik], yeah, I'd deffo use this system if it were implemented for some hitherto unseen quality US drama that's littered with geographically specific terms, all crucial to the plot. And if I had a DVD player.   

       //But the next time one heard a joke with that reference the hearer wouldn't be handicapped by his/her ignorance.//
[Ichthus], we differ on this. The choice is (a) kill one joke so that others might live or (b) leave all jokes in limbo, so that all still have the potential to be funny. I choose (b) because I'd rather not understand a joke that has potential to be funny than to understand a joke that isn't funny. This is why I watch Pobol y Cwm.
calum, Jul 14 2004
  

       ag, ahneo, aïlle, aiwa, ala, bo, cha, ei, ez, hayir, iié, illaï, jo, kadhu, kaore, Kh Ng, kheyr, laa, laha, le, lo, ma hoke phu, maï chaï, na, nage, nahániri, nahin, naï, nann, não, ne, né, nee, neen, nei, nein, nein-ji, nej, nem, neni, ni, nie, Niet, no, nò, no , non, nu, oevoel, ohi, pù shi, siyo, te, thay, tidak, tsia, ugui, votch, xeyir,   

       This is a bad idea. Learn the language the hard way try to spend some time with the people and you will get the jokes. Most of them are cultural and would take too long to explain. In England we have regional dialects from one school to another.   

       note: Paracetamol is word not a brand name like tylenol. Rather like Vacuum cleaner vs Hoover. I can accept Aluminum over Aluminium. (it was after all Davy (a Yank) who discovered it and named it.) I find it fun to learn what a faucet, Commode, Diaper, Sophomore, Scallion, Duplex, Sidewalk etc... Please Don't put subtitles on everything !
PainOCommonSense, Jul 14 2004
  

       Well for my money, you can't beat a good shag on the floor.
horeas_parry, Jul 14 2004
  

       Or perhaps knock some one up in the morning.
PainOCommonSense, Jul 14 2004
  

       Oh or ... your Fanny Bag is hanging out.
PainOCommonSense, Jul 14 2004
  

       Actually I take that back.... Anything is better than the US version of Coupling. I can't stand that rip off (US read:copy)
PainOCommonSense, Jul 14 2004
  

       POCS, did you know you can edit your annotations after posting?
egbert, Jul 14 2004
  

       "A yank discovered aluminum". Hmmmm. Er... no.
Aluminium (ending sounds like sodium, potassium, lithium, uranium... I could go on) was discovered by one Sir Humphrey Davy, born in Penzance, south-west England, in 1778. Oersted was the first to isolate aluminium, some twenty years after Davy had proved its existence.
david_scothern, Jul 14 2004
  

       //note: Paracetamol is word not a brand name like tylenol//
Interesting. In the U.S. the non-trade name for it is "acetaminophen". I wonder how it came to have two different generic names? I found a link that talks about this, but doesn't explain the origin.
krelnik, Jul 14 2004
  

       Makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up. (I love how you can learn the most obscure things on this site).
krelnik, Jul 14 2004
  

       I'm against. Most of the jokes this idea talks about are cultural jokes anyway. Even if you know what tylenol is, that's just ONE. But the other 15 you won't get even if you understand every spoken word because you weren't raised in that culture.   

       I watch "TV española" sometimes and their spanish (slang, vocabulary, gramar structure and sense of humor) is so different that it helps me remember that the world doesn't revolve around Mexico... no close caption can do that for you.
Pericles, Jul 14 2004
  

       BAKED! Saw it last nught on a US broadcast of the UK Queer Eye. A union jack and an old glory appeared at opposite bottom corners of the screen, and between the text "GOBSMACKED = AMAZED"
mongmaster, Jul 15 2004
  

       //...lack of British Cultural Hegemony.// [calum]?   

       Hardly, old son! American Cultural Hegemony is, at it's heart, merely an extension of the old British Empire. They can't simply copy plots from old French movies, change the words to 'God Save the King', slip across to the other side of the carriageway and rebadge television / internet / any other invention you care to mention, and pretend to be something NEW!! Crikey!
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 15 2004
  

       A lot of fansubbers (a term that itself needs translating: Fans who translate anime that's unlicensed into english or other languages) put in things like this. They usually just write an explanation in parenthesis at the top of the screen for a few moments. It's usually too long to read on the fly, but you can pause quickly and read it if you like.
5th Earth, Jul 15 2004
  

       //Hardly, old son! American cultural Hegemony is, at it's heart, merely an extension of the old British Empire. They can't simply copy plots from old French movies, change the words to 'God Save the King', slip across to the other side of the carriageway and rebadge television / internet / any other invention you care to mention, and pretend to be something NEW!! Crikey!// ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 15 2004   

       What do you mean by that? Americans did invent the television. They just didn't call it the television at the time. Don't make me laugh with your stories of Baird's pathetic invention. It's nothing close to what we would call a television today.   

       Yeah, that Internet thing, hmm. I don't suppose you've ever heard of ARPAnet? I didn't think so.   

       Perhaps the English did invent the mistake of incorrectly punctuating the word "its".   

       I apologize for the harshness of my reply, but I'm not going to let a slight like that by me.   

       Yeah, I know the English invented many wonderful things, and that modern television wouldn't exist without their contributions. I also know that, like any other country, they have their share of "inventions" that were borrowed from somewhere else.   

       I only harp on your mis-punctuation of "its" because, of all the typing mistakes people make, this is without doubt the most annoying one in the English language, no matter whose version you are talking about :P
Size_Mick, Jul 15 2004
  

       S_M: right ARPANET was the basis for internet (based on earlier protocol, NCP), and TCP/IP and email were american inventions (Vinton Serf and robert Kahn). The brits just invented HTML and the world wide web (TIm Berners-Lee,as we all know).
goff, Jul 15 2004
  

       Baird was a Scot, Size_Mick. If you're going to harp on about the (lack of) contribution of a nation to a particular field, it is polite to ensure you know which country you're talking about.   

       [Consul], you and I both know that but we can't let those uppity colonials know that we're still pulling the strings, culturally speaking; they would be most irked.
calum, Jul 15 2004
  

       Taking an existing device and transforming it into a workable format is not invention.
egbert, Jul 15 2004
  

       [sizeMick] says // Perhaps the English did invent the mistake of incorrectly punctuating the word "its". //   

       Curious comment! "Its" can have an apostrophe when it's a contraction of "it is" or "it has". Phew, that's cleared that one up.   

       Coupling (UK) very good, Coupling (US) not very good at all. I'm unsure why that is...
jonthegeologist, Jul 15 2004
  

       [Size_Mick]: "The original TV was nothing like a modern TV, so it wasn't invented properly til it was developed". I think my paraphrasing is correct. Can we also say that the Wright brothers weren't the originators of the powered aircraft, that its real invention didn't come until the tail was put at the back?
Don't make me laugh. We all know the importance of the Wrights' contribution to the world; the fact that aircraft have been improved since then surely doesn't take their achievement away from them. Thus it is with John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor of the television.
  

       <One-upmanship>And yes, ARPAnet. Ever heard of Charles Babbage?</one-upmanship>
david_scothern, Jul 15 2004
  

       Sorry, but Coupling just isn't funny in any language.
zen_tom, Jul 15 2004
  

       yep, so, in summary :   

       The British invented television, telephones and the internet.
jonthegeologist, Jul 15 2004
  

       and custard (Alfred Bird in 1837)
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 15 2004
  

       And everyone knows that the British invented Ninja's!
Ichthus, Jul 15 2004
  

       Fair point about Davy's "Aluminium" for the reason soon to be clear, I accidentally assumed that he was American. Legend has it that he originally called it "Aluminum" but changed it later to make it easier to pronounce. But the Americans adopted the original name.   

       As for British Ninjas' Not sure about that one because Assassin is said to have come from the Persian of Hassassin or follower of Hassan (not the Arabic Hashish eater as many like to think). Which predates the common 12th century image of the ninja dressed in black (incorrectly as it should be dark brown). However the skills were well documented in Sun Tzus Art of War back in 500 BC in Mainland China which probably wins because all the old stuff was invented by the Chinese.   

       Oh and as Spike Milligan said: "Chopsticks are one of the reasons the Chinese never invented custard"
PainOCommonSense, Jul 15 2004
  

       Well, sorry if I called Baird English. I didn't mean to. AND I DIDN'T. Good job reading my comment.   

       "Another player of the times was John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer and entrepreneur who 'achieved his first transmissions of simple face shapes in 1924 using mechanical television. On March 25, 1925, Baird held his first public demonstration of 'television' at the London department store Selfridges on Oxford Street in London. In this demonstration, he had not yet obtained adequate half-tones in the moving pictures, and only silhouettes were visible.' - MZTV"   

       So you see, it's not really the same thing at all.   

       "The credit as to who was the inventor of modern television really comes down to two different people in two different places both working on the same problem at about the same time: Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, a Russian-born American inventor working for Westinghouse, and Philo Taylor Farnsworth, a privately backed farm boy from the state of Utah.   

       “Zworykin had a patent, but Farnsworth had a picture…”   

       Zworykin is usually credited as being the father of modern television. This was because the patent for the heart of the TV, the electron scanning tube, was first applied for by Zworykin in 1923, under the name of an iconoscope. The iconoscope was an electronic image scanner - essentially a primitive television camera. Farnsworth was the first of the two inventors to successfully demonstrate the transmission of television signals, which he did on September 7, 1927, using a scanning tube of his own design. Farnsworth received a patent for his electron scanning tube in 1930. Zworykin was not able to duplicate Farnsworth’s achievements until 1934 and his patent for a scanning tube was not issued until 1938. The truth of the matter is this, that while Zworykin applied for the patent for his iconoscope in 1923, the invention was not functional until some years later and all earlier efforts were of such poor quality that Westinghouse officials ordered him to work on something “more useful."   

       Take your pick, they were both American citizens.   

       And yeah, I would be agreeable to the notion that the Wright Brothers did not invent the airplane either. They invented basically an underpowered, mostly gliding deathtrap that proved the CONCEPT of an airplane was sound. FOLLOW UP: I have to retract this idea now, because as it turns out, the Wright brothers were the ones who put the tail in the back to begin with! So they DID invent the modern airplane, no argument about that!   

       If any of you folks in the UK need more education, you let me know.
Size_Mick, Jul 15 2004
  

       WOW! - This got complicated in less than a Day!
gnomethang, Jul 15 2004
  

       I think the US can safely lay claim to the Edsel.
bristolz, Jul 15 2004
  

       // If any of you folks in the UK need more education, you let me know // [size_Mick] ... dear oh dear, how patronising. (Which, incidently, is spelt correctly).
jonthegeologist, Jul 15 2004
  

       Seems like a silly debate here. Its not like the the entire population of Britain was responsible for the television, nor the entire population of the States responsible for the transistor.
Now my department at my university is responsible for the transistor... maybe I should get my knickers in a wad if someone at MIT claims it.
evilmathgenius, Jul 15 2004
  

       very good, sir. I agree (... but didn't MIT invent the transistor)? Anyhoos, this is all wildly off subject ... best get back to the subject in hand.
jonthegeologist, Jul 15 2004
  

       Bell Labs (but at least one of the inventors harkened from NYIT).
bristolz, Jul 15 2004
  

       Psst... [jonthegeologist]... I'm a "madam" not a "sir". My knickers are wadding this very moment about that and the MIT claim. : ) Okay, back on the topic now everyone, yes.
evilmathgenius, Jul 15 2004
  

       You gotta love scrolling all the way down here just to say "Ha" ! +
skinflaps, Jul 15 2004
  

       I love the BBC shows and enjoy trying to figure out the meanings of British words from the context, doesn't always work so I'd vote for a helper I could turn on or off. +   

       As for marriage, I'd marry calum just to listen to him talk!   

       or... maybe not.
dentworth, Jul 15 2004
  

       That should rattle your sporran [calum]
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 15 2004
  

       Veering back on topic for just a moment, I remember seeing (oh, years ago) a US sit-com in which the (male) protagonist was just divorced. His anticipated re-entry to the singles' scene failed and he was reduced to doing his laundry. He complained that he spent his first evening as a single man balling his socks.
It may not be a good joke in American English, but in British English it's not a joke at all because we don't (didn't ) use the expression "balling" in that sense.
angel, Jul 16 2004
  

       Would there be regional and cultural dialect options? Select Southern, Noo Joisey, West Coast, Gangsta, Jive Talk...
egbert, Jul 16 2004
  

       [evilmathgenius] humble apologies for the "sir" comment ... (and there was me trying to be super polite n all!). Ho hum.   

       [bristolz] I'm still going to leave it to [po] for the 2004 explanation of the UK "Fanny". She's well qualified for the task.
jonthegeologist, Jul 16 2004
  

       [PainOCommonSense] - // Legend has it that he originally called it "Aluminum" but changed it later to make it easier to pronounce. But the Americans adopted the original name. //   

       No, Davy called it Alumium. It was changed to Aluminium to bring it into line with other element names. Americans later adopted their third name.
benjamin, Jul 16 2004
  

       In my day, we enjoyed using our brains and "figuring it out". "I guess" that's a bit old fashioned now.
ivanhoe, Jul 16 2004
  

       We "seem" to have a "quote mark" infestation in this thread. Someone call an "exterminator."
krelnik, Jul 16 2004
  

       //Zworkin was a Russian citizen. He moved to America at about the time of the Russian revolution. This was after his stint as a student of Rosing. //   

       Sorry, at the time he was an American citizen. He wouldn't have been allowed to keep his Russian citizenship. He would have had to swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S.   

       //No, Davy called it Alumium. It was changed to Aluminium to bring it into line with other element names. Americans later adopted their third name.//   

       Wrong again. Boy, this thread is filled with disinformation, isn't it? See my link.   

       P.S. For those of you who are willing to have an open mind, if you really want to know how inventions come into being, watch the BBC and later Discovery Channel series by James Burke, called "Connections". What you'll really see is that no one person invents anything just out of nowhere. All people REALLY do are make the connections to what other people have already figured out. In fact, I really WORSHIP this guy. I wish I could be just like him, even if it meant I was bald. Another link I left will take you to a fansite.
Size_Mick, Jul 16 2004
  

       [jonthegeologist] Huh? I didn't ask.
bristolz, Jul 16 2004
  

       didn't you? <checks> phew.
jonthegeologist, Jul 16 2004
  

       // We "seem" to have a "quote mark" infestation in this thread. Someone call an "exterminator." krelnik, Jul 16 2004
[Krelnik] I can probably "help" you here (linky).
gnomethang, Jul 16 2004
  

       Aaargh.
mailtosalonga, Jul 16 2004
  

       Sorry, I couldn't resist.
gnomethang, Jul 16 2004
  

       <back on topic for a moment> I heard that when "The Full Monty" was released in US cinemas they gave out free booklets explaining some of the Yorkshire words that were used. Despite the translating service, I understand that the full irony of the line "there's nowt so queer as folk" never quite hit home across the pond </botfam>
hazel, Jul 16 2004
  

       well! I'll go to the foot of the stairs. :)
po, Jul 16 2004
  

       Stop stirring [po]! ;-)
gnomethang, Jul 16 2004
  

       <blows kiss> OK !
po, Jul 16 2004
  

       Dangnation! due to international time zones I didnt come in here until the party was over!!!   

       However, did anyone mention that Mr Bean really should have captions for some folks.
KiwiJohn, Jul 16 2004
  

       What is a croissant?   

       [edit] No I am not serious
tasman, Jul 17 2004
  

       [tasman] are you serious? see picture in upper left corner your screen.
dentworth, Jul 17 2004
  

       Paracetamol and Mariella Frostrup gave you this much trouble? Really? The context clues abounded in both episodes.

Frankly, this Yank is an avid PBS watcher, and I've found "Coupling" the best out of the local sation's entire lineup at making itself accessible to speakers of non-British English.
Tabbyclaw, Jul 18 2004
  

       why are there no painkillers in the jungle?
po, Jul 18 2004
  

       //The brits just invented HTML and the world wide web//   

       But it was invented at CERN, in Switzerfrance - does that still count as a British invention?
Detly, Jul 18 2004
  

       //does that still count as a British invention?//
If a Brit invented it, yes.
angel, Jul 18 2004
  

       [size_mick] Yep I agree Connections was a fantastic series, and James Burke was a fantastic presenter.
British of course.
P.S. I think the thing which irks some of us in the UK is that whilst Americans did invent an awful lot of stuff, so did everyone else (including an inordinate number of modern inventions from Brits). The problem is that there appears to be a habit both corporately and governmentally for "America" in its collective sense to appropriate other people's inventions - which then flows down into the populus as received wisdom. Ask the average American who invented any number of modern things - Hovercraft, jet engine, TV, light bulb etc. - and they will claim that they were invented by Americans and in some case, name an American who invented it (and in every case, be wrong. e.g. light bulb - Thomas Edison, real inventor Humphrey Davy, first patented by Joseph Swan)). I know this because a UK TV presenter, Jeremy Clarkson (who is particularly irked by this American trait of believing that anything good must have come from the US) devoted a whole hour TV show to this very subject and did exactly this. Not one of the people he asked about any of the inventions on the list knew that they were invented by brits, and in a lot of cases, didn't even believe him when told.
The reality is that the main achievement of the US in rleation to a lot of these things was to take a scientific discovery, and commercialise it - this being the main reason that many of their names are then so inextricably linked to the invention. In my view, the US are better at this than anyone else on the planet, but that doesn't mean that they invented everything.
goff, Jul 19 2004
  

       A Kiwi was first with the aeroplane. And we all know who invented Kiwis.
thumbwax, Jul 19 2004
  

       [thumbwax] - Tava? Thor? Ned Kelly? Whoever it was that wrote Genesis 1:22? Zespri? Jackie Chan?
benjamin, Jul 19 2004
  

       Odd that James Burke and Jeremy Clarkson should both be mentioned in a thread about misappropriated credit, since the latter openly modelled his style of commentary on the former...   

         

       ...or did he?
egbert, Jul 19 2004
  

       No, he's British - he was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
goff, Jul 19 2004
  

       [thumbwax] -We all know that Kwis can't Fly !   

       I'm with [Goff].   

       Way off topic...The Ruskies all ways seem to have got a bit of a rough deal with claiming invention because the Old Soviet State would hide some of it's best inventions. I saw a TV show this weekend that credited Russians with helping Phase 1 of the ISS using US money. Phase 1 as you may remember was more commonly referred to as Mir. They went on to criticise it's shabby interior and unreliability and mentioned that it burnt up on re-entry. What they failed to mention was that the ruskies were the first to have a space station (back in 71 with some 6 or 7 Salyut stations). They also didn't mention that on re-entry Skylab went off course and burnt up over Australia. And as usual no mention of Buran (Snowstorm) or that at the moment the only countries capable of space flight are China and Russia.
PainOCommonSense, Jul 19 2004
  

       Apparently, the BBC drama series "55 degrees North" (set, I assume, in Newcastle upon Tyne) features a character called Detective Sergeant Cole who introduces himself as "Detective Cole". No British policeman would do this (he'd say "DS Cole"). Similarly, unidentified female bodies are referred to as "Jane Doe", another pre-translated Americanism.
angel, Jul 19 2004
  

       [Weedy] if coupling is bad, you may be watching the US version. And if you do a find for "Hassan" you can find my definition of Assasin neither is correct but the Hassansin seems much more plausible.   The Hong Kong & Korean translations are probably a bit ropey because the people who do the translation are probably the Chinese and Koreans and they don't really care what the English words look like. As long as the video /DVD sells. Where as the English Language films that are translated into Korean or Chinese are probably translated by Koreans & Chinese so they probably put in a bit more effort.   I personally think it adds a bit of style to HK Cinema. Although I cannot abide by dubbing. Some of the best VCDs i picked up on my travels had Mandarin from the left audio Cantonese from the right and Simplified Chinese, Malay & English subtitles. That takes some beating. But it gets really annoying when the English ones get pushed off the bottom of the screen by the guy who was filming it with his camcorder. Still the fight scenes were great.
PainOCommonSense, Jul 20 2004
  

       I notice [Bristolz] has yet to reveal how she came to choose that particular name with no knowledge of British vernacular. This has been puzzling me off and on for ages. Is it a secret, [Bristolz]?
spacemoggy, Sep 02 2004
  

       Berners-Lee invented the Web but who invented the browser?   

       Bristol is a nickname my parents gave me and having nothing to do with Britain. Z is the first initial of my surname.
bristolz, Sep 02 2004
  

       'Twas Shakespeare who wrote, "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the Bowsers of war" in Julius Caesar (III,i,273).
jurist, Sep 03 2004
  

       "Cry Havoc and let slip the "r" from browser!"
bristolz, Nov 11 2004
  

       [bz]: "first initial"? For shame!
angel, Nov 11 2004
  

       Leave it to the english to screw up there own language.
overcooked, Nov 12 2004
  

       Yeah, I guess that isn't what I meant to say.
bristolz, Nov 12 2004
  

       //Leave it to the english to screw up there own language.// hah!
po, Nov 12 2004
  

       //Sorry, at the time he was an American citizen. He wouldn't have been allowed to keep his Russian citizenship. He would have had to swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S.//   

       The US doesn't disallow double citizenship, it just frowns on it and tries to encourage people to pick one or the other. For example, if you're a double-citizen, you'll pretty well discriminated against in applying to government jobs (for good reason, BTW).   

       I concur with [Tabbyclaw] that Coupling is pretty accessible to American English speakers, but Mariella Frostrup and Paracetamol gave me some trouble. I figured out, obviously, that Paracetamol was a potentially dangerous drug, but the context ("Well, you're always going to parties and getting a bunch of different pills [to put in one bottle], aren't you?", not to mention Jane's stonedness) made it sound like a recreational opiate like OxyContin or Vicodin, etc. "Paracetamol" sounds vaguely like some generic names for opiates that we're familiar with on this side of the pond. And the context surrounding Mariella Frostrup pretty much told me she was some sort of newscaster, but it took a long time to figure out. (I first thought the lady at the BBC office who got the Sprite spilled on her was Mariella. Is she? Lord, I don't know!)   

       Anyway, I agree with some others here that captions would pretty well kill it. It's much more enjoyable to guess than to know, IMO.   

       [goff], you misspelled populace.   

       [weedy], the Hashishin (hash eaters) were a Middle Eastern group who liked to smoke hash and kill people in strategic missions, often one immediately before the other. Hence, Assassin. I read about it in the very interesting linked book.
disbomber, Apr 10 2005
  

       The Brits invented HTML? Wait. Isn't HTML built upon SGML which is an descendent of IBM's GML?   

       And Berners-Lee did release a browser on NeXT in about 1990.
bristolz, Apr 11 2005
  
      
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