Sunday, 27 May 2007

YesBut is it appropriate language

Ozlady on seeing this photograph, on YesBut's Images blog suggested the caption

Hag drags bag while havin’ a fag!

Previously I had thought of the caption, “Dying for a fag”, or “Dragging on a fag”. But I rejected both- because the confusion the use of the word “fag” would have on American visitors to this site.

In the UK and Australia “fag” is slang for cigarettes. With the new law coming into force on 1st July in the UK banning smoking in all enclosed public spaces and work areas; more people will have to “Nip out for a quick drag on a fag”. The mind boggles at what an American will interpret that sentence to mean. Unfortunately Babel Fish doesn’t do an English (UK) to English (USA) translation.

The last couple of days I have been posting blogs on the topic building blog traffic. I highlighted if you blog in English, you are going get the majority of hits from the USA and UK. In an effort to increase bog traffic, its pointless broadening and tailoring the topics you blog about, unless you also use appropriate language.

The use of slang and obscenities is likely to be offensive to a large number of readers. However on occasions their use might be unavoidable - when blogging about politicians!!

Similarly you should be mindful of the difference in meaning of words, such as fag; and the difference in the names of things, UK pavements, US sidewalks. Describing “walking down the sidewalk in your new grey pants“, would be OK in the USA. But pants in the UK are men’s undergarment - Y fronts, jockey shorts, briefs, boxers.

The largest age group logging onto the internet are youths. Now that’s one group which has its own language beyond my comprehension. The trouble is when I get to understand what “bling” means its no longer “cool” to say “bling”, but I suppose by now its no longer “cool” to say “cool”. YesBut all very confusing.

Why not click here and make your suggestion of a caption for today’s image


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Ah yes. The confusion over the word pants. This cropped up on my blog quite early on, being as I am, ahem, quite fond of them. HAHAHAHAHA.

So I published a British Pant Identity Wallchart.

If any of your readers remain confused, they can view it here:


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

btw, I still can't get that slideshow to show up.

Anonymous said...

Being an American and being gay, I looked up that word in my dictionary years ago: fag a cigarette and faggot a bundle of sticks.

I knew what you meant and have no problem. OzLady's caption is super funny and fits well!

YesBut said...

BT I will visit your blog to discuss the problem of the slide show.

YesBut said...

Hi chewy
Yes, Ozlady’s caption is very funny.
I hope you will make contributions of captions to YesBut‘s Images.

Anonymous said...

I linked you at my blog... so many blogs to visit! I'll be back. It is fun here thinking up captions.