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July 9, 2012
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This is the first time I've responded to a posting on 'Pain in the English' (see above, 9th July). I'm surprised at the various directions the conversation has taken.
Whilst agreeing with the original idea (that a broadcaster should take account of what their audience may or may not know) I was mostly interested in the reference to 'petrol bomb' as being 'slang'. I don't think that this would be the correct term for something that is standard English in various parts of the world.
I would accept 'petrol bomb' as being 'a term that might be unfamiliar to US audiences', but not slang.
I suppose we might need to discuss what is meant by 'slang' ...
The difference between English in the USA and English in the UK is very interesting. Words in common usage may be completely unknown elsewhere. I would agree that terms need may need to be explained but that would definitely be the job of the networks rather than asking someone to change their way of speaking. I don't think you could call 'Petrol bomb' a slang term as it is a standard usage in the UK.
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