Bidding adieu to Albion, I combined some of my favorite signs from my one-month residence here. Given their preternatural politeness, roadway signs and advertisements reflect the “keep-calm-and-carry-on” sensibility of the British. In America, the sign below would simply declare KEEP OUT! And, of course, “Diversion” is British for “Detour” and slightly more abstract. “Divided by a Common Language,” as the saying goes.
There’s always a latent anxiety in England about thieves and pickpockets. What kind of “operation” is underway when they knick something from your car? “Sat Nav’s” is British-speak for “GPS.” And, gentlemen, don’t forget to mind the zipper before exiting the loo! I highly recommend The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship between British and American English by Lynne Murphy if you like this sort of linguistic fun.
Finally, at the Queen’s Arms in Brighton, we were regaled with Cher and Beyoncé covers and it appears as if the drag queens are looking forward to some major renovations. Sing out, Louise! And that concludes my entire performance in English!