English is a second language

I was thinking about drugstore wraps and butcher's wraps - writing about them a few days ago - and it led me to other considerations. I've had about five of my plays produced in Waterloo, Iowa, premieres so I was present during the rehearsal period. Each time  I noticed some differences in our two languages - Canadian-English and American-English.  Canadian, of course, is heavily influenced by English-English, though less so as the years go by and a younger generation learns to speak from American television. That's the main reason for current differences, but times change, too,  and with them the knowledge and experience of the speakers. I'll give a few examples of a few differences I noted.

bespoke means made to order or custom made. That came up when the actors didn't understand a character saying she noticed which side a man "dressed on".  They didn't know what that meant. Do you?  It refers to the side of the trousers where a man likes to tuck his "member" (aka penis). When the suit is bespoke, the tailor allows a little extra space on whichever side  his customer prefers. While we're down there,  none of the cast knew what a rubber was. (Safe, condom - is it age or fashion that dictates the usage?)  

Americans go on a vacation; Canadians go on holidays.  Americans go to the hospital; Canadians end up in hospital, also university. Americans attend college but go to a university. I sold my first cookbook to an American publisher and my editor and I discovered differences in vocabulary regarding food.  She had never heard of icing sugar. They call it confectioners' sugar. I took her a pound of icing sugar, clearly labelled, the next time i went to New York to consult with her. A cottage roll was unheard of- it's just a salt pork roll. But there are lots of differences in food names  in different ccountries.  Take cilantro, aka coriander. Or eggplant, familiar to Brits as aubergine. 

There. That took my mind off the trouble with my trip. Anon, anon.