The British and the Americans are at war once again. This time it is a more localized conflict than the War for Independence which, for a nation who has a history of over 1000 years, is really just yesterday. Fortunately the weapons of this latest war are words, although these are, of course, more deadly than nuclear bombs. (Proverbs 18:21)
We have American visitors at the moment. My kids are confused. They can’t understand why a room that has a toilet and no bed or bath gets called a restroom or bathroom. But that is nothing compared to what I have just discovered. I mean, an innocent conversation about a lorry overturning on a motorway/highway met with blank looks from my friends. So I tried calling it an articulated lorry, an HGV (heavy goods vehicle), even the odd-sounding word “motor truck” (on Google’s recommendation), and, of course, my favorite description of this type of vehicle—the juggernaut. None of this helped AT ALL. The blank looks continued.
The only way we could communicate was for me to say—‘OK, so you are at Walmart. A vehicle arrives to deliver goods for them to sell. What do you call it?’
The astonishing answer given by these two otherwise sane American girls (who are, incidentally, Christians of marriageable age and available—apply by e-mail to me for prescreening!) was “A TRACTOR-TRAILER!”
My wife and I are not just laughing out loud (LOL) or ROFL, we are CRYING! To me a tractor is a farm vehicle which tows plows, or yes, a farm trailer! Since when does an all-terrain farm vehicle have eighteen wheels?! Wikki is very clear in its definition of a tractor, and it sure isn’t something you would see very often on the roads.
Please, please, please, somebody help us! Give us a sensible name for the vehicle we have agreed to call (in the meantime) a big vehicle that is liable to jack-knife at midnight when the Warnocks are on their way home from holiday!