Thursday, September 6, 2012

Old Dog, New Vocabulary Trick

A few days ago, I received the following email from our neighborhood association regarding an open meeting in nearby Hersham for one of the local members of parliament (MP).

At the bottom of the flier, the MP included the following:

I hold regular monthly surgeries, by appointment.  To request an appointment, please write to me at the House of Commons (address here), including as much information as possible so I can assess the best way to assist.  

What confused me was his use of the word SURGERIES.  I've seen the word surgery used before in a context that obviously did not involve an operation since it was on a flier posted by our local police department in the window of the dry cleaners I use.  

Intrigued enough to seek clarification, I discovered that surgery is Brit speak for when someone like a lawyer or MP or police person is available for consultation.  Isn't that interesting?  I wonder how many parents would freak out if I put on my next teacher website that I'm available for surgeries (parent teacher meetings) on a daily basis.  Bahahaha!

I'm a big ol' nerd and think it's cool that I learned a new way to use the word surgery.  I've been fascinated with the British vernacular lately.  What we call loops in the US (roads that circle major cities so you don't have to go through the big middle of them) are called ring roads over here.  In Britain it's not counter clockwise, but rather anti-clockwise.  And I love the way they pronounce certain words so differently from the way we do in America, like vitamin.  Click on the link below and push the "pronunciation" button below the two red stars to hear how the British say it.

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