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Common Language

Author: Common Language Network

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George Bernard Shaw is attributed as saying that the US and UK are two countries separated by a common language. In this podcast, Helen, an American woman and Gavin, her Scottish husband, explore the accuracy of this statement, try to find commonalities, and embrace differences. New episodes every couple of weeks, we tend to take a break in the summer.
45 Episodes
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Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at major founders of youth movements in the US and UK, Juliette Gordon Low and Lord Baden-Powell. Helen's vocab of the episode looks at the origins of a colorful British way to describe something all style and no substance.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at the first female pioneers of aviation, Harriet Quimby and Amy Johnson. Helen's vocab of the episode looks at the origins of an American way to describe cravings.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at the first black American and British consultant physicians, James McCune Smith and James Samuel Risien Russell. Helen's vocab of the episode looks at a colorful way to describe a messy situation, but not that one.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at American and British pioneers in medicine and nursing, Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale. Helen's vocab of the episode takes a southern look at a food-related insult.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at how different sides of the Atlantic chose to represent a fictional cartoon character with a rhyming name at exactly the same time. Helen's vocab of the episode takes a festive look at the term Chrimbo.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at a couple of female political firsts; Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin and Nancy Astor MP, although Gavin has an interesting curveball to throw into the mix. Helen's vocab of the episode tucks in its napkin to discuss American delicacy of Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at a couple of examples of real-life folk heroes from opposite sides of the pond. Helen's vocab of the episode takes a look at the term "tosser". It's a real eye opener.
Helen and Gavin continue their biography themed season by looking at the most prolific serial killers on either side of the Atlantic, a topic filled with similarities and differences. Helen also explains the meaning of "drothers," a term that has confused Gavin for the best part of a week.
Helen and Gavin kick off their third Common Language season by looking at the respective wartime leaders of the US and the UK, their achievements and some aspects that history tries to forget. Helen also looks into the recent popularity of the insult, "Cockwomble." Something for everyone!
Helen and Gavin talk about the different approaches to movie ratings and classifications in the US and the UK. Helen also investigates the origins of the phrase, "It's Baltic out there."
Helen and Gavin talk about SoHo and Soho, areas of New York and London respectively. Wouldn't you know it, but there are some similarities between the two despite the fact that the names aren't related. Helen also explains the background to the US phrase, "I could care less."
Episode 34 - Meats!

Episode 34 - Meats!

2020-04-2737:24

Helen and Gavin talk about the different approaches to various types of meat on opposite sides of the Atlantic. As expected, we talk a lot about bacon, but attitudes to lamb, chicken, and different types of sausage also get some air-time.
Episode 33 - Pandemics

Episode 33 - Pandemics

2020-03-2944:22

After patting ourselves on the back a couple of weeks ago, we relent and talk about how the Spanish Flu and the Black Death spread. It's not the cheeriest episode we've ever done. Gav later described it as our The Road. But hey, it's done, we won't do it again, and the Vocab Word of the Episode is much cheerier!
Helen and Gavin ignore the pandemic and talk about the serious stuff -- the differences between zip codes and post code. There's a lot of similarities but enough differences to be interesting. Plus, we introduce a new segment into the podcast, which is exciting!
Episode 31 - Shopping

Episode 31 - Shopping

2020-02-2658:20

Helen and Gavin get their commerce caps on and chat about the differences between the shopping experience on either side of the Atlantic, paying particular attention to those pesky supermarkets.
It's another taste-test episode. Helen and Gavin talk about the differences between bourbons and scotches, chat about the increased availability of both, and then sample a few cheeky numbers at the end. Good times.
At the start of a new decade, Helen and Gavin look back to the US and the UK during the 1920s, a decade that is perhaps looked back upon through rose-tinted spectacles but is maybe a more difficult time, much like the 2020s have proved to be so far.
Seasons Greeting from Common Language! In the second of our two-parter, Helen and Gavin take a look at two sitcoms that were created in the UK and then were remade in the US. This part focusses on the UK and US versions of The Office before turning its attention to how The Thick of It was developed into Veep via a very disappointing direct remake.
In the first of a two-parter, Helen and Gavin take a look at two sitcoms that were created in the UK and then were remade in the US. This part focusses on Til Death Us Do Part / All in The Family and Man About The House / Three's Company. As you'd expect, there are similarities and differences in both but we can all agree that some have aged better than others. Join us in two weeks for part two where we look at the UK and US versions of The Office and how The Thick of It translated into Veep.
Helen and Gavin take a look at the similarities and differences between soft drinks in the US and the UK, taking particular note of catch-all terms such as soda, pop, coke, and ginger, and focus on the Scottish soft-drink that refuses to buckle to the power of global brand juggernauts. It's phenomenal.
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