OT:Heard on American Dad: daughter Hayley singing a song about...

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 6 16:03:44 UTC 2010

There seems to be plenty of jesting going around, it seems. A rest stop
may or may not be a place for rest, but it is most certainly a place to
stop. The problem is that quite a number of "rest areas" are not
equipped with appropriate facilities. Some, in fact, are not equipped
with /any/ facilities. So "rest stop" and "rest area" are by no means
synonymous with the respective sanitation facilities, although they may
well be used as euphemisms, on occasion.

Speaking of sanitation facilities, has anyone looked at the distribution
of bathroom vs. restroom vs, washroom? The public area /signage/, e.g.,
malls and supermarkets, tends to point to restrooms--but that's more of
an artifact of what signs are available, as they tend to be standardized
for retail (although mall maps are more individualized). And corporate
managers hold keys, almost exclusively, to executive washrooms. But,
aside from that, there may be little regularity. (Please, pardon the
unintended pun.)


On 4/6/2010 10:07 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> I believe such places are referred to in USAmerica as rest stops or places
> of little ease.
> Surely you jest.
> A "rest stop" is, literally, a highway facility (more officially a "rest
> area") providing one or two rest rooms, though "rest stop" can be applied to
> the act of stopping itself in order to use any similar facility, as at a gas
> station.
> As for "place of little ease," surely you jest.
> JL
> On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 4:21 AM, Robin Hamilton<robin.hamilton2 at btinter,
> somewhat facetiously net.com>  wrote:
>>> She has my sympathy. I found out that there's a major problem involved
>>> in asking - in English! - for the location of the bathroom, even among
>>> Dutch people who have lived in the States long enough to have earned
>>> American doctorates.
>>> -Wilson
>> Ha!  Now when *I* was at school -- high school, that is -- in the late
>> fifties, I was told quite firmly that one only referred to the bathroom
>> when
>> wishing completely to cleanse the body in a tub.  The room where one went
>> to
>> perform other bodily functions, containing only a water closet and a wash
>> hand basin, was a toilet [sic], though Nancy Mitford, in "U and non-U",
>> might, while scouting the term 'loo', have begged to differ.
>> (I believe such places are referred to in USAmerica as rest stops or places
>> of little ease.  The term of use in Glasgow is "cludgie", though strictly
>> that would refer to an outdoors privy.)
>> Equally, to doff some pedantry towards another thread, I was told that a
>> gentleman never inserted a comma between a street number and its name.
>> Robin

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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