Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

July 20, 2008

Adventures in American English

If, as George Bernard Shaw claimed, Americans and Britons are "two peoples separated by a common language," it's Canadians who are most often left scratching our heads. We share some vocabulary with the British, some with our neighbours to the south, and just to make things livelier still, we've invented some of our own.

Listening to ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball tonight, I heard the following: "The seventh-inning stretch is brought to you by Baby Ruth, the official candy bar of Major League Baseball." What in the world is a candy bar?

Visions of huge, rectangular slabs of Life Savers popped into my head, or maybe those infinite chews of Mackintosh toffee; but no. It turns out that "candy bar" is American for chocolate bar. Sorry, guys ... candy is candy, chocolate is chocolate, and never the twain shall meet. You're out to lunch.

An exhaustive discussion on the topic can be found here.

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