Where it's not obvious:
BE = British English, AE=American English and indicates
an external link
cannot tell a lie"
quote from George Washington was supposedly uttered when his father
discovered he had cut down a cherry tree. But it is all a myth, invented
by Parson Mason Locke Weems when he wrote the 1806 edition of his
book, The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington.
that - tea that has been iced. It's a very popular drink, especially
in hotter parts, and can be very refreshing. Unfortunately, it is
often made from instant iced-tea powder, some varieties of which aren't
very palatable. In most restaurants, iced-tea is served with unlimited
free refills. But be warned! In most areas, especially in the south,
if you just ask for tea then you will get iced tea -
you'll have to specifically ask for hot tea if that's what
(with a crime)
Strictly speaking, impeach simply means to be charged with
a crime. However, it is more usually applied to those in public office.
Like the British, the Americans have a means of dealing with
those public officials who stray from the straight and narrow. This
process is called impeachment, which in the outside world equates
to being charged with a crime. Following impeachment comes a trial.
While the British process can then lead to imprisonment, the American
Constitution permits only that the final sanction is removal from
office which is mandatory for "treason, bribery and high crimes
and misdemeanors". The US process starts with articles of
impeachment being prepared (by the Judiciary Committee), after
which the House of Representatives votes whether or not there is a
case to answer. If, on a simple majority, the answer is aye, the
matter is taken to the Senate where the Vice President (or in the
case of impeachment of the President, the Chief Justice) presides
over a trial, and a guilty verdict can only be found on a two-thirds
vote. Including President Clinton, only 16 impeachments have taken
place, and only one other President, Andrew Johnson, faced the Senate
trial, although he was acquitted by one vote. For more about impeachment,
see The American Constitution in
BE has in front of, and the Americans have simply adapted
the pattern to create in back of.
Day (Federal holiday)
This has to be America's most well known holiday. It celebrates the
Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776, and has
been observed ever since. It is marked by parades, fireworks and a
whole lot more. For
more general information, see American
Holidays in the Encyclopedia.
God We Trust"
phrase first appeared on a two-cent piece in 1864, after which it
appeared on other coins and bills. It became America's national motto
This is exactly the opposite meaning to the BE meaning! Americans
consider the lane nearest to the centre of the road to be the inside
lane, whereas the British consider this to be the outside
lane. This can be very confusing, especially when talking about
overtaking on the "inside" or "outside".
or Work-experience student (roughly)
In America, there are two types of intern, although they're both
basically professionals "under training". A medical graduate
will undergo several years of on-the-job training (called residency),
and in the first year they are interns. It is roughly equivalent
to the British houseman, who is junior to a registrar,
who in turn is junior to a consultant. An intern
is also a college student who works (usually unpaid) in a business
in order to gain experience. Note: this shouldn't be confused
with an internist, who is a doctor whose specialism is the
Interstates are part of The Interstate and Defense Highway
System, and were originally funded by the Defense Department.
They are labelled I- followed by a number. East-west are
even-numbered, and north-south are odd-numbered (highest numbers
are up in the north-west, and the lowest in the south-east). The
number is usually single or double digits - such as I-5 and
I-10. However, three-digit interstates do exist, and
are spurs off the main interstates (the last two digits indicate
which one). The first digit indicates the type of spur (even-numbered
generally go around a city, whereas odd-numbered spurs go
into a city). It is also worth noting that three-digit interstate
numbers may not be unique! There are, for instance, three
I-295 roads off I-95.
Also known in the US as "Directory Assistance". To get a
phone number, you need to contact the information number in
the area code that the person lives. To do this, for long distance
information you dial 1 plus the area code followed by 555-1212.
For local numbers, you usually just dial 411.
term applied to a group of long-established eastern-US colleges, which
have a high scholastic achievement, and high social prestige - namely
Harvard, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth
and Cornell. Although competition between the colleges started in
1870s, by the 1930s the term Ivy League was being used. However
the Ivy League did not really exist formally until 1954, when
an agreement between the colleges was signed which created a special
"athletic conference" for inter-collegiate sports, which
now covers 33 different sports.