102

The answer is... airlock: an airtight chamber permitting passage to or from a space, as in a caisson, in which the air is kept under pressure It's the fact that there is pressurised air inside the "space" that makes it an air lock, not what is outside the "space". "Space" here being a space station, or a submarine, or a plane; and the outside being a ...


58

The seed of Guizotia abyssinica used to be known as niger seed. That combination of letters is pronounced differently from the much more common word with a similar spelling, and the difference should be obvious because of the single g. But you'll find it much more commonly listed (e.g. on packaging for bird food) as nyger or nyjer™, a phonetic spelling ...


35

Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off ...


27

I don't think it's a very common mistake in general. In the case you quote, it is probably because standard is Стандарт in Russian, which ends with a т.


24

In British English the two words are not equivalent. Touristic means "of or relating to tourism" and is a neutral word without connotation, while touristy is usually used in a pejorative sense. touristy; relating to, appealing to, or visited by tourists (often used to suggest tawdriness or lack of authenticity) Possibly non-native speakers think they ...


22

It is not quite what you're looking for as the spelling wasn't changed just a little, but rapeseed has been changed to canola, to protect people's sensibilities about rape.


21

This is a common misspelling in German. The word also is "Standard" there, but as @Tim points out, "Standard" and "Standart" sound the same, and it is easy to mistakenly assume it's related to German "Art" (Way, manner, fashion). I think this is a case where an error in the native language is repeated when those making it write in English.


17

Not quite what you are asking, but something similar is found in proper names. The venerable Scottish surname ‘Smellie’ is nowadays often changed to ‘Smillie’ (itself a genuine variant e.g. Wikipedia article on Robert Smillie). However some Smellies (including my former boss) strongly resist this, as exmplified in this article in the Daily Telegraph. ...


14

I can think of a word whose pronunciation was changed to make it less offensive: "coney", an archaic word for "rabbit". I'm told by a former professor and other sources that it originally rhymed with "honey", but was changed to rhyme with "boney" because it sounded too much like a slang word for "cunt".


14

The Ice Cream Sundae likely was first spelled "Sunday" but the spelling was changed because people objected to a dessert being named after the Lord's day. See The origin of ice-cream.


12

I found this from Wikipedia's entry for Canadian English in the section on Quebec's regionalisms: It is also common for Anglophones to use translated French words instead of common English equivalents, such as "open" and "close" for "on" and "off", e.g. "Open the lights, please" for "Turn on the lights, please". And then this from Yahoo Answers (Canada): ...


12

Senior in the USA refers to the fourth year of a standard four-year college degree (an undergraduate degree or BA, for most Commonwealth English speakers). Students in the four years of a standard US college degree are known respectively as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (Confusingly, the last two years of high school — roughly, ages 17–19 — ...


11

As a Dutchman, I have noticed the discrepancy between the English word and most Continental words. I believe the problem lies in the fact that we have a single all-round, neutral adjective on the Continent—at least your closest neighbours do: Holland, Belgium, France—, while you must make do with tourist or touristy. Een toeristische attractie (Du.) — a ...


10

So, in traditional grammar these cases would be considered gerunds, not present participles, because they head noun phrases. Modern grammatical analyses of English (such as the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) analyse gerunds and present participles as a single construct called the gerund-participle. In any case, this error is common because some ...


9

As per the question's example of change in spelling and word (i.e. "rappists" to "rapsters"), there are numerous words that have changed to a gender-neutral form, often to make them less patriarchal. For example: Fireman → Firefighter Policeman → Police officer Chairman → Chair He or She → They (as a singular) Woman → Womyn (not exactly in regular usage) ...


9

Do proper nouns count? There's a town in Labrador called Sheshatshiu. Per the Wikipedia page on the settlement, this would have traditionally been spelled differently (the trailing 'u' being replaced by a 't'). In Innu-aimun, it would mean "a narrow place in the river", but in English it becomes "she excreted feces".


8

In German, it's "die Standarte". In Russian, it's стандарт (standart) - probably because the word was borrowed from German. I've consulted four dictionaries to see how the word came into English, and they give four different origins! So much for comparative etymology... One of them, the Collins English Dictionary (10th ed., 2009) gives this as the source: ...


8

In Czech language, "standarta" means flag. "Standard" is commonly misspelled as "standart" even by native speakers, because they don't see the difference.


8

First of all, you should say "I had a fantasy about living abroad" or "I had fantas(ies) about living abroad" I would say that "my fantasy was shattered" would be the most correct and common usage of the phrase. My fantasy was broken sounds odd, and my fantasy broke is simply incorrect. "My fantasy was shattered" is the correct one. Please note, if you ...


7

Open the light...close the light is considered a New Jersey-ism. I grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey, a comfortable suburb of NYC, and learned from my parents to say open/close the light. When I was 10 years old we moved to Upstate New York (only a little more than an hour north). People looked at me like I had three heads when I would say open/close the ...


7

Obviously without hearing an example, it's only possible to talk in generalities. In terms of syntax and vocabulary, even if you don't produce any utterances that are ungrammatical per se, you might give yourself away by not using features (e.g. filler words/pharses like "you know", "though", "actually") that are common in native speech, or by using features ...


7

Do native English Speakers use "touristic"? I found this little discourse, which might help: Person 1: my experience this term is used mostly by non-native speakers of English. I didn't even think it was really a word. I've never heard europeans use the word which in my experience is common: touristy. I looked at some dictionaries and found that some ...


7

India is a huge country with over 20 (not exactly sure) vernaculars. The official language varies from state to state. Although Hindi is "used for official purposes" (according to Wikipedia), not all people from all states speak Hindi. English is widely spoken, and most schools in urban India use English as the medium of instruction. I would say Indians ...


6

I would not use fantasy in any of the ways you suggest; while they're understandable I don't think they'd be used that way by a native speaker in my locale (the UK). I would say: "I had fantasies about living abroad but when I arrived there my illusions were shattered." The phrases "then reality set in", "my bubble was burst", or "I was in for a rude ...


5

Based on your written English you are doing very well indeed. Our ears and brains are very attuned to tiny details in language, because we use it all the time. So, although I know it is not the answer you want, it is a combination of hundreds of little things that make a non native speaker sound non native. It should also be said that this is true of accents ...


5

A search in Amazon will yield about 206 results of books that have in its title the word "touristic" vs. ZERO for "touristy". If you use NGram and compare "touristic" with "tourist", "tourism" and "touring" you'll find that the word is used but not as much compared to the latter three: However, if you compare it with "touristically" and even the French "...


5

Perhaps non-verbal interjection? There are a number of expressions in American English that approximate a not-quite-verbal expression for disapproval. tsk-tsk (when expressed as a a sucking sound made by pulling the tongue away from the roof of the mouth) mmm-mmm (a short repeated humming sound, the second of which is descending in tone; a rising in ...


5

I’ll give you three words that are still very much used in Philippine English which, I was told, are no longer (or, at best, rarely) used in the UK or America: Thrice Viand Solon


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