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February 19, 2003

Lift vs Elevator

A conversation in the lift on the way home from work reminded me of an old joke. This was reinforced by a casual comment about the way I spelt "colour" in an email to a friend.

There was an American who, at least for this joke, was staying at a posh hotel in London. He was a self-made man, wealthy and proud of his heritage. Having checked in, he decided to sample the cuisine but was somewhat disoriented by the different method used for counting floors. After asking, the concierge directed him to the "elevator".

Possibly because of the earlier confusion, the somewhat disgruntled guest decided to correct the hotel employee: "You mean lift, don't you?".

"No", responded the concierge, who was not prepared to be corrected by a mere American, regardless of wealth, "I meant elevator!".

The guest frowned and growled in reply: "We invented the darn things and we can call them whatever we like!"

"Certainly sir!", came the quick reply, "but don't forget WE invented the language".

Posted by Peskie at February 19, 2003 12:00 PM