Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Film/Movie - differences in the "same" language.

Here in Europe we call films, films. I know many of them are now shot on digital, but they're called films because they are (were) shot on film, and played on reels of it in the cinema.

In the USA they call them movies. As in, thing that something moves in. It's kind of babytalk really. First there were stills, then movies, then talkies...and for some reason, movies stuck and they still call them that. And because we watch ones that are made there, we start to call them movies as well.

Language is weird sometimes. Changes in it spread like a rash, or a virus.

As a writer, it can be fun to play around with it. Like trying to write very differently to how I normally talk. My story "White Christmas", that will be published in the forthcoming anthology, Stitched Up! for example, has a lot of 'Americanisms' in it, because it's set in the USA. It was difficult to write words like 'flashlight' instead of 'torch', but it was probably a good writing exercise. And since it got accepted, I'm going to take it that it worked!

Still - I'm just going to invite arguments here, and say that the USA way is wrong :-P

PS - if you order a copy of Stitched Up!, please mention my name, I get royalties if you do!  Thank you :-)

8 comments:

() said...

Is that why its "Movies".. lmfao... Would have figured "Film" was just as outdated in this digital age, but what the F**K would you call them otherwise?

Joleen said...

I don't know if that's why it's 'movies' but it's as good a guess as any!

As for what to call them now...visual stories? That sounds a bit poncey though.

Charlie Juliet said...

Interesting trivia there :) I have to admit that I do call them movies. My Dad has always called them films. Though when he says it it's 'fil-im'. Which I do like. The "language barrier" is quite confusing, and at times challenging. Kudos to you for your interpretations for your story

Joleen said...

That's like most Irish people - we tend to pronounce it "fill-um"!

Thanks!

Em said...

I never say movie. Never. Ack. Vile Americanisms. You know what I really, really hate?! People who aren't American who say 'mom.' I mean, what the hell?!

Incidentally, do you call the cinema the cinema or the picture house?

(I also say 'fillum' sometimes, but I probably watch too much Father Ted!)

Joleen said...

I say cinema. Do Americans call it a Picture House?

It annoys me too, the mom thing - but language really is kind of infectious like that.

PS - There's no such thing as too much Father Ted! :P

Em said...

Maybe it's a westcountry thing. Gets called a picture house down here. And you don't go to the cinema, you go to the pictures! Though it's an older generation thing. I say cinema meself.

Joleen said...

I'd never say, go to the pictures! Maybe older folk would though I think everyone here just calls it the cinema, or going to the cinema.