Saturday, December 14, 2013

Things I learned lately 14 December

  • Most of the US west of the Mississippi pronounces 'caramel' with 2 syllables ("car-ml")
  • Only states bordering Canada pronounce 'been' with the same vowel sound as 'ben' versus the rest of the US, which pronounces it like 'bin'.
  • The further southeast you go in the US, the more likely you pronounce 'mayonnaise' with two syllables ("man-aze"). The same goes for pronouncing the middle syllable in 'pyjamas' like 'jaw' (pajawmas).
  • New England pronounces 'pecan' the same as Canadians do ('pee-can').
  • New England refers to a roundabout or traffic circle using the word 'rotary'. The Dakotas and most of Montana and Minnesota don't know what to call them.
  • There's a very tiny part of the US centred around eastern Pennsylvania and into New Jersey that refer to the submarine sandwich as a 'hoagie'.
  • Eastern Wisconsin calls a drinking / water fountain a 'bubbler'.
  • Only New England and southern Florida call them sneakers. The rest of the US calls them 'tennis shoes'.
  • The word 'freeway' is common mostly from Utah westward. Everywhere else, it's 'highway'.
  • There are pockets of eastern US where they refer to rain while the sun is shining as a 'sunshower'. In the south, some call it 'the devil is beating his wife'. Much of the country, especially the west, has no term for this at all.
  • During Black Friday and Thanksgiving, Americans spent $1.9 billion online. During "Singles Day", November 11, a single e-commerce company in China called Alibaba processed more than $5.75 billion in sales. Alibaba runs 2 websites – Tmall and Taobao. On Tmall, big brands sell to consumers. On Taobao, small businesses and consumers sell to consumers. Part of why Alibaba is so successful is that there are about 500 million internet users in China. There are lots of cities with millions of people in them and no malls or big offline retail centres. China has leap-frogged the whole mall and big box culture and shop online. It is free for merchants to set up stores on Taobao and Tmall. Alibaba only makes money by selling ads. That means more merchants, cheaper prices, and more sales. The trust level is higher too because they pay using Alipay – a service which keeps the funds in retail transactions in escrow until both the buyer and the seller are happy.
  • The Calgary flood in June created 98,000+ tonnes of waste that was brought to city landfills in the weeks after flood. That's equivalent to 3 years of landfill space.
  • Uruguay just became the first country to legalize and fully regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana.


Anonymous said...

Do you say ben or bin? I say bin. Heidi

Karl Plesz said...

I'm in the bin camp. I'm so Yank.