BritSpeak #1: “Suboptimal”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 – 6:35 PM

So as an Englishman working in the US I’ve had a few communication problems on occasion. The are several sites dedicated to different word usage across the Atlantic. None of them seem to really help when it comes to some of the subtleties of English, as spoken in the UK.

Understatement is a big part of the way people speak. For example an American might say “awesome” whereas I might say “not half bad”. Case in point. Six days spent climbing a Good Neighbor Peak in the Yukon, getting sick at 14,000′, running out of food and nearly getting avalaunched is “full value”. 

Which leads us to entry number one in the (ongoing) BritSpeak series. 


As in “That bug causes the application to crash and loose all the user’s data. Pretty suboptimal really”. So when you hear “Suboptimal” replace it with “(very) bad”.

And yes. I did try saying “dude that really sucks” but with my accent it just sounds stupid.

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