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Why all the Americanisms?

Just saw the E3 trailer and the game looks amazing. However why are there American words and Americanisms used in a game set in 1960s England?

Date: October 9, 1964 - Not how dates are written in the UK
Sign on wall: "Summer Vacation" - An American phrase
A piñata - Very uncommon in the UK
Candy - An American word

Not major problems, just feel it spoils things a bit.
Food for thought.
  • Iris_LockspurIris_Lockspur Member, Moderator
    It's an ongoing process to get things looking and sounding as authentic as possible. There used to be dumpsters in the game. But dumpsters (or skips), in the 60s?

    @Alex is continually updating the anachronisms so they're less frequent, just takes time is all.
  • OtherbuttonsOtherbuttons Member, Moderator, WHF Friends & Family
    Personally 'A Pinata' is a normal word imo? I mean it's not like we call them 'whacky-stick sweet donkeys'.

    But I agree on the others. They've been really good at correcting Americanisms though in the past, but they've done a really good job with that sort of thing.
  • Iris_LockspurIris_Lockspur Member, Moderator
    @Otherbuttons, movement to change the name to "Whacky-Stick Sweet Donkeys", that name is brilliant.
  • OtherbuttonsOtherbuttons Member, Moderator, WHF Friends & Family
    Well, if Pinata was an uncommon word in the 60s, that's because pinatas were uncommon.

    but y'know, it wasn't even a whacky-stick sweet donkey, it was a whacky-stick blood rat.
  • compulsioncompulsion Administrator
    Thanks for the feedback, we'll definitely make sure @Alex can be having a look at it and see what can be changed.
  • AlexAlex Compulsion Team
    edited June 2016
    Please tell us which Americanisms we're using! We are a team of colonials -- New Yorkers, Vermonters, Quebeckers, a Cajun, Canadians, and a Kiwi, among others. I encourage the voice actors to correct me when I write something that Brits don't say.

    You're right, "vacation" should be "holiday." And I guess "candy" should be "sweets"?

    However, the piñata is introduced as a Spanish custom that Uncle Jack had a show about. It's not something we're presenting as a Britishism.

    Later on, characters may refer to The Emerald City because The Wizard of Oz also played in Britain. Wellington Wells has been cut off for only a decade and a half. Before that, it was part of the world.

    I once stayed at a B&B in Ireland that had been a huge English-owned estate. It was decorated in real Victoria style -- meaning, it had Japanese curios there, and Indian statues, and Chinese prints, and so forth. The Victorians collected from everywhere.

    But again, if someone says something that sounds North American, please give me a heads up, as you have done here.
  • Iris_LockspurIris_Lockspur Member, Moderator
    Hey @Alex, I would point out on the newspaper with Arthur and Percy, the weight was in pounds, the Imperial system. Might want to change that to metric.
  • russ8585russ8585 Member
    edited June 2016
    It just reminded me of that awful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie where a British family kept using American words. Pulls you right out of the experience.

    - In the UK we write our dates like this: 9th October 1964 (not October 9, 1964)
    - Vacation and Candy are words we don't use.
    - The piñata is fine but it is a custom more well known in America. A British person would only really know about them from American media.

    Its understandable that these things come up if the game is being made by a non-UK team. But they do stand out a lot.
    Sorry if this seems nit-picky but its a pet peeve of mine and your game looks wonderful, I'd hate it to be spoiled.
  • tectec Member, Moderator
    @Iris_Lockspur - Pounds is fine. A formal government policy to support metrication was not agreed until 1965 however it has never been fully enforced and weights in pounds and ounces, as well as inches and feet and liquids in pints are still commonly used as measurements in the UK even now.
  • tectec Member, Moderator
    I would say that a £50 Victory Against Communism Bond was a massive amount of money for 1964 when the average weekly wage was £16 - equivalent to about £900 in today's money.


  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @russ8585 Not nit-picky at all, thank you for bringing this up to our attention :)
  • LuxionLuxion Member
    Pinata was an uncommon word in the 60s, that's because pinatas were uncommon.
  • AosysAosys Member
    edited June 2016
    Actually, that depends on what part of the world you're talking about. Pinatas have a very long and widespread history, being thought to have originated in China (which makes sense, given it's the birthplace of paper). In the 14th century, Marco Polo supposedly brought the idea for the pinata back to Italy, and the tradition subsequently became associated with the Christian celebration of Lent. Pinatas gradually made their way to Spain, where clay pots called "la olla" were decorated with paper and ribbons to make the pot more festive. They eventually became most popular in New Spain (what we now call Mexico), where they retained their highly religious connotation until more recently; today they're used for a number of celebrations and have evolved from clay pots to papier-mache.

    The pinata featured in-game appears to be of the Mexican variety, rather than the Spanish kind, which leads to the question of how it got to Britain in the first place. My best guess would be through American influence, as suggested earlier in this thread; there's some great pictures from '61 of "Girls striking a pinata in a California carport," showing that the tradition had in fact made its way north of the border by around that time. It seems likely that the "powers that be" in the WHF universe have access to materials and information not readily available to the general public, possibly including knowledge on the state of things across the pond. They are therefore free to trickle as much of it as they like to the rest of society, as good 'ol Uncle Jack has done. He doesn't even have to be terribly accurate about it, and people are still likely to lap the whole thing up, even without the drugs (hell, the BBC ran an April Fool's prank in '57 that convinced far more people than it should have that spaghetti is grown on trees!).

    In the end, though, regardless of accuracy, I think the whole sequence is perfect for its shock value and what it brings to the narrative as a whole, which to me is what matters most. Feel free to disagree if you like - I'm no expert...

    Long post is long. Please excuse my rambling. Kthnxbai

    Sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinata
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/411
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti-tree_hoax
  • Iris_LockspurIris_Lockspur Member, Moderator
    I'm so happy we've already got cool people like you showing up @Alsys!

    Spaghetti trees is something I never would have known about.
  • @Iris_Lockspur

    How did you not know about spaghetti trees?!
    Midwestern US resident here, but I think you need to do some serious Monty Python bingeing.
    "He's pining for the fjords"
  • Spaghetti trees and whacky-stick sweet donkey? I laughed way to hard when I saw this.
  • Iris_LockspurIris_Lockspur Member, Moderator
    Oh, believe me @CrisRo, I've done some serious Monty Python bingeing.
    (Though it has been awhile, and my memory is selective at best. May need to have another at some point.)

    image
  • I found the best reference guide if you want to get rid of the Americanisms, as a London I can confirm these to be 100% true:

    image
  • HiynastrikeHiynastrike Member
    edited August 2016
    I have a theory, It's been 20 years since WWII ended and the Joy crazed society began. Given that this England is much different than real world 60's England, I think that Wellington Wells bought out a ton of American Products, because real world 60's America had the googie aesthetic that most of the newer Wellington Wells has (e.g: The brightly colored Jetsons/Space Race look to everything https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googie_architecture .) It could be that 20 years of American products have changed England
  • WW2 didn't end 20 years ago in WHF. Read the redacted newspapers.. Britain was occupied by the Germans, and the war was clearly going on in '46 or '47.
  • From what I can tell on a map given in the Old Soldiers quest, the war may only have ended at 1949. Also has anyone noticed that the V Meat cans have their weight in ounces?
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