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Discussion: Language differences

in: Cristina; Cristina > 2021-02-27

Feb 28, 2021 9:18 AM # 
One of my favourite differences between American and Australian English is that a watershed (Australian) is the boundary between two watersheds (American). (What Americans call a "watershed" we call a "catchment").
Feb 28, 2021 10:46 AM # 
Geoff & I became aware of this little difference when we visited the scale model - which simulates the tidal flows - of the Bay Area, in San Francisco. Lukas would possibly find that place interesting in a couple of years' time?
Feb 28, 2021 2:03 PM # 
He probably would! Here’s hoping going to SF to tourist/orienteer is a normal thing soon.

I didn’t know about the Australian/US distinction there, though the idiomatic use of “watershed”, as in “watershed moment”, makes a lot more sense with the Australian definition! Also a little more concise than, say, “drainage divide”.
Feb 28, 2021 11:04 PM # 
Yeah, 'cos drainage divide sounds like someone accidentally just put an excavator through the sewerage pipes...
Feb 28, 2021 11:22 PM # 
I dunno, I think our use of watershed makes sense, if you think about something shedding (virus, anyone?), spreading out from a source. I don't mind "drainage divide," it makes sense to me; maybe I'm just too used to the words/usage though.

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