Thank you for responding so quickly with questions, and The Boffin got right on the case. I have had no input into these answers.
A Political Science Graduate Student Originally from the Philadelphia Area Asked:
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a sandwich as “An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal.”
However, a hot dog is defined as: “A frankfurter, especially one served in a long, soft roll and topped with various condiments.”
Therefore, a hot dog exists in two states, either with or without a bun. In both cases, two pieces of bread are not required in order for it to constitute a hot dog. Therefore, a sandwich, it isn’t.
Knowing the background of the person who asked a question and the use of hot dogs in their hometown American football stadium, I would also like to question whether ‘projectile’ is a closer way to define the item?
Is American society or are Americans, in general, more informal than Brits? Or vice versa?
Dictionary time!!! Formality is defined as: “The rigid observance of rules of convention or etiquette.
The stiffness of behavior or style.”
Therefore, it comes down to who defines the rules of convention and etiquette. Guess what? In 1776, the US wrote a little document which basically lanced the part of society that defined the rules. People sitting in diners in New Jersey are rarely seen as purveyors of etiquette. However, guess what, in the U.S., they are! The U.K. is held hostage, meanwhile, by a small group of people who hold the keys to the mythical ‘Upper Class’. This is the group who set convention and etiquette. They know how to hold a fork (guess what Americans…. you have no clue). How to drink soup. How to have polite conversation. How to have affairs with married women called Camilla. In the U.K., formality (and therefore informality) is driven by this group of people, who really should have no greater say in how we should act as a people than Bob in the diner who is on his third stack of pancakes.
However, if you remove the cream of society (rich, thick and full of clots), then you actually discover that society can make up its own mind over what is acceptable. We still have our rules in the U.S., but they are always in flux. Our definition of formality is not set by someone who’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather once let the King borrow some troops to help bash down a few monasteries. Instead, we make group decisions. There is less stiffness, but we are still bound by rules of convention. However, as there is no single set of rules, you get to pick the one that best suits you. As a result, the U.S. is more informal because we really can’t agree on what being formal is.
So to all the Brits who come over to the U.S., either as tourists or expats, I say enjoy the freedom of U.S. informality and stare at somebody else’s shoes for a change.