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Hair, learning American

To call it cute might make you think the hairdresser did more than tidy up my strands, but I quite liked the effect. Perhaps it helped that she was charming company.

She taught me some American English: when visiting Florida, she had asked for 20 cigarettes as a shop, and the clerk started counted counting out 20 boxes of cigarettes. When she explained, he told her that she needed to ask for 20 packets, not cigarettes.

I went to Barkingside with hair still damp from having it cut. I had never taken that bus before, and so hadn't realized that I could get there in one fell swoop, without changing units of transportation. Last week, France; today, Barkingside; next week, Leicester.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
steepholm
Sep. 20th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
So, if you ask for twenty packets, you get one packet with twenty cigarettes in it - and if you ask for twenty cigarettes, you get twenty packets with a total of 400 cigarettes?

I'm glad I don't smoke...
owlfish
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
Or something like that.

Many fields have speciality mathematics. I (as do many) often deal in fractions of sheep, for example, as if sheep came in standardized sizes.

naxos
Sep. 21st, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
That would be a great menu item: "Fraction of sheep served with seasonal British vegetables".
sartorias
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Packs, actually. (At least, I've never heard anyone say packets.)
owlfish
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
I am, if anything, even more charmed by my hairdresser in teaching me slightly incorrect American English.

That also explains why it didn't sound familiar to me. Packs. Of course they come in packs!
sartorias
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
There are parts of the south where the word 'pack' has two syllables, which might have confused her. "Pie-yack."
a_d_medievalist
Sep. 20th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I always thought cigarettes came in packs or cartons. Except in places that will break a pack and sell singles, but that's semi-legal. AFAIK, packs aren't supposed to be split for tax reasons. Yes, I have bought them -- my mom used to be a pack-a-day smoker. My best friend a 1 1/2 pack-a-day smoker.

At least, over here. Dunno what they do in the UK.
moon_custafer
Sep. 21st, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
Perhaps he meant she should have asked for "a twenty-pack" or some such? Surely "twenty packs" would still mean "twenty packs x however-many-cigs-there-are-to-a-pack?"
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )