It is said that England and America are divided by a common language. Well, it's not limited to the differences in spelling (center, color) or common words (subway, store). Here are some examples.
A Rubber or An Eraser?
- A lady who is now deputy headmistress of a London school spent some time teaching in California, and once told a class going in for a geometry exam to be sure to have rubbers with them since anyone can make a mistake. She couldn't understand why this broke them up. In the States a rubber means a condom.
A Rise or A Raise?
- To an American, getting a rise usually means an erection so be careful how you refer to the increase in salary that your boss has just given you.
To Rent or To Hire?
- Americans normally rent things and places but they hire people and services. In England it's more complicated. In British English you hire things for a short time and rent them for a long time. And you only hire people for a particular purpose, not for a long period.
Exercises: American or British