30 thoughts on “Spotted on a Philadelphia Parking Authority kiosk

    1. I hope you have a lovely time here and get plenty Britishisms! It’s a lovely country. It does have it’s ugly spots and ugly politics. I would suggest staying off Scottish independence! Until you’re sure they’re not armed!
      Perhaps you will let us know what you think upon your return home

  1. Am I correct to “intuit” (what a horrible abomination – and one I’d love you on line to “autopcize”/”post-mortemate) that the crux of your posit is the use of an “ess” rather than a “zee” in the first word?

    May I then query why the similarly pronounced “please” is not spelt with a “zee”?

    In the words of Noel Coward, “you can’t have it both ways”, until, of course he did.

      1. No. Have you not yet come across the verb “intuit”? Dropping the “ion” from nouns offers some wonderfully ugly verb forms.

  2. Did you see that on a parking metre?
    Fun fact: “Parking Wars,” the TV show about Philadelphia Parking Authority employees was, according to the Wikipedia page, “based on a 2001 documentary of the same name about the PPA, produced for A&E and Britain’s Channel 5.” Coincidence? OK, yes.

    1. Did you see that on a parking metre?


      Might have just been a spelling joke. If not, note that meter and metre have different meanings in Commonwealth English.

      Meter – something that measures. (eg. Thermometer, Altimeter)
      Metre – a unit of measurement, a little longer than a US yard. (eg. metre, kilometre)

      1. Not strictly true: the word “meter” (in BrE pronounced “metter”) has no meaning at all. Mind you, “metre” (pron: meeter) has lots.

      2. Interesting.. Despite the different spellings assigned to the the different functions we pronounce the words the same. I must Check Cheque Czech this out?

      3. Czyrko, have a look at this:

        Specifically (as a noun):
        1. (always meter) A device that measures things.

        (and as a verb):
        1. to measure with a metering device.

        (similar can be found in any other dictionary)

        In both cases the pronunciation is ME-tah (assuming non-rhotic), the same as metre. The pronunciation of some “-meters” (like thermometer) do not follow this rule (becoming met-ah), as the first syllable is emphasised instead. Others like Voltmeter (or parking meter, gas meter, etc.), retain the ME-tah pronunciation.

        The wiktionary link there also covers the difference between meter and metre between US and C’wealth English as per the original post. Some more examples at the meter/metre disambiguation page on wikipedia aswell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_%28disambiguation%29

    1. The -ise endings were traditionally the only difference between Australian and English spellings. I’m not surprised the OED doesn’t give them. The Macquarie Dictionary, which is the Australian reference dictionary gives ise endings but mentions -ize as an alternative. It’s not usual to see -ize though and they look wrong to my (Australian) eyes.

      I’m baffled as to how this might have migrated. I don’t think the English picked this up from watching Australian television shows.

  3. Can anyone explain why British people changed the ending ize to ise. The change is fairly well documented but with little explanation as to why. Not far from where I live in Devon UK, there was a sign on a road where “authorize” was written this way. The sign was placed there before the Second World War. It was replaced last year and now has the word spelled “authorise”

    1. Essentially, due to the influence of French and its spelling norms.

      On the flip-side, words with -yse (eg. paralyse) are more practical than -yze (eg. paralyze), as paralysis (or analysis) is never spelt with a z. (though -yse/yze has a different etymology than -ise/ize)

      All Englishes have their quirks, i guess :).

    1. No, overall, English yards are much greener. While some U.S. cities, like Seattle, may have as much or more rain compared to England, others, like here in Texas, are in the middle of a multi-year drought.

      Oh, did you mean “yard” as a measure of length? Legend has it that the yard is based on the length of the arm of England’s King Henry I. So why wouldn’t they be the same? As Wikipedia explains it, “Under an agreement in 1959 between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, the yard (known as the “international yard” in the United States) was legally defined to be exactly 0.9144 metres.[3] Prior to that date, the legal definition of the yard when expressed in terms of metric units varied slightly from country to country.”

      A yard of ale is something else (and something one can’t set down).

      1. Curiously, an English yard may not be greener than an American one. 🙂 I had an on-line discussion a while back which involved an American being confused over reading that during the war, the British built air raid shelters in their gardens. Turned out that what we called a garden, the Americans would call a yard. To him, a garden was an area where ornamental plants or vegetables were grown. To me, that is a flower bed or vegetable plot. A garden is the whole area adjoining a house in which something is growing, be it flowers, vegetables or grass. A yard, on the other hand would have nothing growing and would be bare concrete or tarmac.

  4. Yard? Are words like school yard, grave yard, boat yard, ship yard etc used in the US?
    Scotland Yard used to be the headquarters of London’s metropolitan police force. It wasn’t a garden attached to England. …. I jest

    1. Yes, they are. A school yard in the old days in the U.S. was likely a one-room school surrounded by a field, perhaps with grass around the school. Today, it’s typically a paved playground near an urban elementary school. A boat yard is a place where they build or keep boats. Similarly, ship yard and ships. But Scotland Yard is neither in Scotland nor a place to keep Scots (unless they break the law). Finally, Walmart is a place where they sell walls. I jest, too.

  5. I drove by a Walmart near New Glasgow, Nova Scotia yesterday. On our way to Prince Edward Island. Walmart bought up a supermarket chain in the “Still” United Kingdom some years ago but didn’t change the name. It’s still called ASDA in the UK.
    Despite your jest I couldn’t resist checking….and…they don’t sell walls!
    However upon arrival in PEI I saw an advert for a “70 mile yard”….
    I was mystified but it turned out to be yard sales along 70 miles of the Island.

      1. Oh dear no!! I remember the TV shows. My daughters idolized Paris Hilton. An Australian friends daughter even dressed like her.

        So 50 cents for parking in Philadelphia seems very reasonable??

      2. 15 minutes!!!! That’s ridiculous. My eldest daughter did a tourist bus tour of Phildelphia last summer and was horrified at the anti British sentiment expressed by the driver.
        The time and cost reminds me that years ago the post office in Britain did a reduced postage rate for postcards it your message was limited to five words. My mother got a post card which said “can write only five words”
        Sorry this has nothing to do with “ize”
        I’m in Toronto at the moment and just seen a TV comment with color and colour on a police ID ticket shown on the CBC news.

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