Off Topic Messages

For British Members: Intercultural Question

Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:37 am

Hello there, (or Tally Ho!)

Please try not to laugh, okay? I've never been out of the States. And every time I think I've got it figured out, it gets more confusing.

1.) Is a "high street" the same thing as a "Main St."? Or is it something else, lost in the translation? (Or is it that, and also something else?) Or is it like every town has its own "Times Square"?

2.) Do you have large shopping malls and "Superstores" near them? (Like the big record chain that appears to be closing.) Are they located only on your "high street" or can they be in any business district? (And here, a "business district" can be right in the middle of a residential district, so malls are often located right next to homes, subdivisions, etc.)

3.) Do you have strip malls? (They are relatively small open shopping centers, usually located on or near a "main drag" type street. Like on Long Island, you have Jericho Turnpike, which is a "main drag," or here in Orange Co., Chapman Ave., is considered a "main drag" and endless strip malls on it.)

I know this probably sounds stupid to you, but I would like to get this "sorted out," you might say.

Thanks.

rjm

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:01 am

I guess since I have spent many years living in both the UK and US, I am qualified to answer.

1) The "High Street" in a UK town is the road that typically runs through the centre of town and has the highest concentration of shops/businesses. It is also used in the generic sense to mean retail stores (as opposed to online shopping, for instance). So yes, "High Street" and a typical US "Main Street" (in the generic sense) are more or less the same thing.

2) Yes - shopping malls in the UK are very similar in layout and design as the US. They are perhaps smaller on average (although there are some very big ones in the UK) and usually called "Shopping Centres" e.g. the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

3) I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like the typical US strip mall in the UK. We certainly have rows of joined shops, but the buildings usually have individual styles and don't usually have perpendicular parking spaces in front of them. I'm sure somebody else will be able to think of an example of something in the UK that could be considered similar.

Hope this helps (although I can't imagine how).

Chris

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:02 am

rjm wrote:1) Is a "high street" the same thing as a "Main St."? Or is it something else, lost in the translation? (Or is it that, and also something else?) Or is it like every town has its own "Times Square"?

I guess “High St” & “Main St” is similar but I’m not really sure in American terms what “Main St” actually means. For example, “Main St” in Memphis is not unlike the “High St” where I originally come from in that it represents a main part in the centre of the city but it’s not really the city’s main street.
rjm wrote:2.) Do you have large shopping malls and "Superstores" near them? (Like the big record chain that appears to be closing.) Are they located only on your "high street" or can they be in any business district? (And here, a "business district" can be right in the middle of a residential district, so malls are often located right next to homes, subdivisions, etc.)

Again there is a similarity but in America you have to drive everywhere, in the UK walking in or around most city centres will take you to superstores and smaller sized shopping malls, they are located mostly in or around “High St” areas. There are shopping malls (in the American sense) but they tend to be located in the outskirts of the cities.
rjm wrote:3.) Do you have strip malls? (They are relatively small open shopping centers, usually located on or near a "main drag" type street. Like on Long Island, you have Jericho Turnpike, which is a "main drag," or here in Orange Co., Chapman Ave., is considered a "main drag" and endless strip malls on it.)

A “Strip mall” is an American expression, we don’t use it and to us it means small shopping centre but the answer to your question is yes.
Hope this helps!

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:23 am

Thanks, fellas! I'm a little closer to it, but here, one "Main St." can be very, very different from another town or city's "Main St." There's an idealized version of "it" in Disneyland," but that has very little, if any, relation to reality. It usually is a street that has a lot of activity, but it often is not, by any means, the only one. The "main drag" is not necessarily the Main St. And there can be more than one.

Sounds like your towns and cities have better planning.

Here, malls can be anywhere. Even big cities have them, but just a different layout. And we have outdoor malls, which are NOT strip malls. Malls are a big deal here. Superstores still exist but are dying. They are often near a mall.

I can see there isn't an exact identity between these categories. Be interesting if anyone else has a view of it, but I think I'm one day I'm going to have to go and see for myself.

rjm

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:53 pm

Great stuff from ChrisM and Julian.

"High Street" is also used loosely to refer to the lthe big road/main thouroughfare locally that contains shops that everyone knows about even it is not actually named "High Street" (eg. "Where are you going??"Down the high street". )

The old High Streets are dying in their old form - lots of repair shops and the like have diasappered, but have regenerated to house coffee shops, sandwich bars, phone shops, fast-food branches etc.

And UK folk never say "Tally Ho" (not even the posh people).

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:56 am

Rjm, if you want to know about British culture just ask me. I watch BBC America! Anyways, to answer your query:
High Street - It's where the opium dens are located.
Strip Malls - Yes, they have them, but the Brits refer to them as Boobie bars. They're where the rugby players hang out.

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:15 am

Suds wrote:Great stuff from ChrisM and Julian.



And UK folk never say "Tally Ho" (not even the posh people).


True but I've heard the odd "tickety boo", "pip pip" , "poppycock" and "nincompoop" usually when posh Rugby fans invade Edinburgh pubs when an international match is on.I stay well away.Lesson learned.Posh drunks annoy more than working class drunks.

norrie

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:47 am

This is getting interesting! (Sorry about "tally ho" -- I thought it was endearing . . .)

Didn't know that it doesn't have to be literally called "high street." That's interesting. I once got a pair of corduroy pants, and it said "English High Street Tailoring." I knew it was "Made In England," but I had absolutely NO idea what that other thing meant, and still don't. Is that better than regular, ordinary tailoring? That got me started to wondering - it was several years ago. (I initially thought that there must be a street named "High Street" where they specialized in tailoring!) I have since learned better, but it's still mysterious.

I heard ya, Pete! LOL!

rjm

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:08 pm

rjm wrote:This is getting interesting! (Sorry about "tally ho" -- I thought it was endearing . . .)

Didn't know that it doesn't have to be literally called "high street." That's interesting. I once got a pair of corduroy pants, and it said "English High Street Tailoring." I knew it was "Made In England," but I had absolutely NO idea what that other thing meant, and still don't. Is that better than regular, ordinary tailoring? That got me started to wondering - it was several years ago. (I initially thought that there must be a street named "High Street" where they specialized in tailoring!) I have since learned better, but it's still mysterious.

I heard ya, Pete! LOL!

rjm



rjm

I just found this on Wikipedia. There's a section ("Comparatve Usage") that might explain why the company calls themselves "High Street Tailoring" - it's to claim that their products represent what the average fashionable person is wearing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Street

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:39 am

Suds wrote:
rjm wrote:This is getting interesting! (Sorry about "tally ho" -- I thought it was endearing . . .)

Didn't know that it doesn't have to be literally called "high street." That's interesting. I once got a pair of corduroy pants, and it said "English High Street Tailoring." I knew it was "Made In England," but I had absolutely NO idea what that other thing meant, and still don't. Is that better than regular, ordinary tailoring? That got me started to wondering - it was several years ago. (I initially thought that there must be a street named "High Street" where they specialized in tailoring!) I have since learned better, but it's still mysterious.

I heard ya, Pete! LOL!

rjm



rjm

I just found this on Wikipedia. There's a section ("Comparatve Usage") that might explain why the company calls themselves "High Street Tailoring" - it's to claim that their products represent what the average fashionable person is wearing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Street


That's pretty funny since it's an American company, and I think they were actually playing on our ignorance of the term. Because I recall the word "genuine" also. As though it were special. (They were on the pricey side; I'll put it that way.)

rjm

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Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:06 pm

there's also 'Town Street'
and 'Main Street'

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:35 pm

Spiffing!

Re: For British Members: Intercultural Question

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:33 pm

norrie wrote:True but I've heard the odd "tickety boo", "pip pip" , "poppycock" and "nincompoop" usually when posh Rugby fans invade Edinburgh pubs when an international match is on.I stay well away.Lesson learned.Posh drunks annoy more than working class drunks.


Oh no, they bloody don't. Rugby players and their fans are much nicer all round.