ballon (d’eau chaude)
I had lunch with a British friend on Thursday and the words you see above are words I used in conversation instead of underwire, hot-water tank, repair estimate, lace, landlady, and registered letter.
I’m always watching out for stuff like that--the last thing you want to be is that American who goes back to the States and says “Well, if we were in France...” or exclaims that a cake is “Délicieux” or something. But there’s nothing you can do about technical terms mixing in with your English. (In this case, I’ve been shopping for lingerie and having a hot-water tank installed.) They just slip up on you--like sneezing. You really can’t beat yourself up for it.
However, I would maybe have to consider ending it all if I ever did this: I overheard a man at Monoprix the other day telling someone he had bumped into, very seriously,”We’re going to the party at The Reetz tonight.” It took me a moment to realize he was talking about Hotel Ritz. This was a Scottish person speaking to another Brit. Sure, I can see pronouncing Hotel Costes with a French accent (when you're speaking English)--it exists only in a Parisian context--but The Reetz? What, does he walk around telling people that he writes documents on Microsoft “Poobleesher” and takes his kids to see Mickey at “Euro Deesnay”?
It’s almost as bad as those people who say they like Van Gogh or Bach with some phlemmy attempt at Dutch/German pronunciation. I just want to give them a good hard slap them on the back and ask “Ya got something in your throat?”