Friday, November 21, 2008
One of the more memorable translations between the Queen's English and the American variety, one that continues to strike funny bones all around the Western Hemisphere, was one first heard during my adolescent years when members of the opposite sex were both fascinating and frightening at the same time.
The phrase "knock me up in the morning", intended to mean a wake up call or a polite visit rather than one of a more intimate nature, was apparently derived from an old British tradition where "Knocker Uppers" would travel around town knocking on doors of men who had to get up early for work.
In the U.S. the phrase always made schoolboys giggle.
Well, there are a whole new set of funny translations emanating from the U.K. these days, many having to do with the bursting of a massive housing bubble, a process that appears ready to overtake a similar one in the U.S. in its severity.
In today's Times Online can be found this story with new and different sayings, one about mortgage debt forcing thousands of homeowners to "sell up", a phrase whose meaning is not immediately clear, along with the more obvious "forced downsizers".
More than one in five homes on the market are there because their owners cannot afford the mortgage repayments, The Times has learnt.The U.K. economy is undoubtedly going to see continuing increases in "redundancies" as a result of all of this.
A survey of estate agents suggests that at least 5,000 properties a week are being put up for sale by “forced downsizers” – people who are in financial difficulties.
Lenders believe that repossessions have soared by 70 per cent in 2008 compared with last year. Quarterly figures to be published today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders will show that repossessions are expected to have risen from 18,900 in June to at least 45,000 by the end of December. Figures to be published by the Ministry of Justice are expected to point to soaring mortgage arrears.
Rightmove, the property website, said last week that asking prices had fallen by 2.9 per cent in a month. Average prices are falling at a rate of £78 a day. Savills forecasts that the average value will drop from £182,080 last December to £136,123 at the end of 2009.