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Years ago, after being out of the country for about six months, I arrived back at Dover in the car late at night. We pulled into a services a few miles up the road and I went into the Little Chef caff

AmE for 'caff', please?
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Matti Lamprhey filted:
Thank goodness someone scored more poorly than I did: 13/20.

Snap. Isn't poorness at this kind of thing a symptom of autism, or am I confused again?

Possibly..."flattening of affect", or something like that...or does that refer to the inability to send appropriate facial signals?...

One of them indicates autism, the other schizophrenia, and it's been suggested before that many denizens of AUE have subclinical cases of either or both..r
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Django Cat wrote, in part:

Years ago, after being out of the country for about ... the road and I went into the Little Chef caff

AmE for 'caff', please?

And what is "services"? I gather that it means a place where there's a gas (petrol) station and a place to eat. But is "services" the common term?
Maria Conlon
"Let a smile be your umbrella" is not particularly good advice.
Years ago, after being out of the country for about ... the road and I went into the Little Chef caff

AmE for 'caff', please?

Diner.
DC
Maria Conlon typed thus:
Django Cat wrote, in part: AmE for 'caff', please?

It's a slightly pejorative diminutive of caf=E9. Little Chef is a=20 massive chain of roadside eateries (I wouldn't call them caf=E9s=20 myself), where the food is identical from Aberdeen to Truro and St=20 Davids to Cromer (which at least means you can always get a=20 reasonable bacon butty no matter where you are in the country).
And what is "services"? I gather that it means a place where there's a gas (petrol) station and a place to eat. But is "services" the common term?

Short for Service Station - a place beside the road which has=20 parking, food, petrol, phones, toilets and sometimes a motel.

=20
David
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Django Cat wrote, in part: AmE for 'caff', please?

And what is "services"? I gather that it means a place where there's a gas (petrol) station and a place to eat. But is "services" the common term?

Yes. I did wonder if that crossed the pond, but wasn't sure what you called it - I'm sure there's an equivalent. On motorways (like interstates I think) we have large service areas, with a filling station, a shop, washrooms, public phones, various food outlets and often a motel. They're all overpriced, but they're more or less 24 hour. I think there's a legal requirement for them to be placed at certain minimum distances on motorways so people can refuel and/or unwind.
Off the motorway you'll see places billed as 'services' which are simply a filling station built next to a chain diner - it's usually either Little Chef, which is sort of OK but expensive, or Happy Eater, which features a graphic of a cartoon character pointing into its open mouth - I always think it looks like it means "stop here and induce vomiting". But this set-up means if you want to use the karzi... sorry, there I go again... if you want to wash your hands, or make a phone call, you do it by the grace of the diner people. Or in the case of my 'bloody-minded' story, you don't.
'Caff' is a regular BrE rendering of 'cafe', pronounced without the e acute sound, and carrying the connotation of somewhere being downmarket. Little Chef's management would not be pleased at their places being described as 'caffs'. 'Knackered' means 'very tired' or sometimes 'broken'. And somewhere I wrote 'into' when I meant 'in'.

I thought some more about the 'bloody-minded' thing. Basically it's the antithesis of the 'have a nice day' attitude and the sort of stuff one gets taught on 'customer care' courses. It's the idea that given the choice between being helpful and friendly, and being surly and awkward, the bloody-minded choose the latter every time. While this is expressed in sentiments like; 'my cafe closes in two minutes, and you're not using the phone, pal', it can also be seen in an example like 'you may have conquered all of Western Europe and thrown our troops out of Dunkirk, but you're not invading us. Pal.' Which is what I was thinking about in the reference to yesterday.
Everybody I know who's been to the States talks about the friendly attitude of waiting stuff, people in shops, and how anybody in a service industry goes out their way to be helpful, which brings us back to Tony's forced smile thing. By contrast shop staff, waiters and waitresses, bank tellers, bus conductors, barmen and taxi drivers (especially barmen and taxi drivers) in the UK have bloody-mindedness in bucketloads. But boy, are they sincere about it.I've really enjoyed reading AUE and the other couple of groups I've looked at over the last six months and learnt quite a lot. I think I underestimated how much of a pondian difference there is, though I think its reasonable to assume that non-American speakers of English are far more familiar with AmE than the other way round, given the amount of US-sourced media we see. At the tender age of 45 I'm finally going to be visiting the US for the first time in the autumn.

I'm looking forward to finding out where you stop to get petrol on the motorway... er.. gas on the... um... so is a 'freeway' the same as an 'interstate' or does it have to cross a state line to be one? Is it a question of the size/importance of the road, or just who funds it? Or is a 'freeway' just something in rock songs? Or does it means there isn't a toll? (fades into distance)...

DC
Maria Conlon typed thus:

It's a slightly pejorative diminutive of café. Little Chef is a massive chain of roadside eateries (I wouldn't call them ... (which at least means you can always get a reasonable bacon butty no matter where you are in the country).

And what is "services"? I gather that it means a ... a place to eat. But is "services" the common term?

Short for Service Station - a place beside the road which has parking, food, petrol, phones, toilets and sometimes a motel.

Mmm, to me a Service Station is just a big garage with social ambitions. You wouldn't call the Watford Gap a Service Station would you?

DC
And what is "services"? I gather that it means a ... a place to eat. But is "services" the common term?

Off the motorway you'll see places billed as 'services' which are simply a filling station built next to a chain ... pointing into its open mouth - I always think it looks like it means "stop here and induce vomiting". DC

Then I found this, from which I learnt Happy Eater and Little Chef are now one and the same. I think I should try to get out more...

http://tinyurl.com/2rby8
D
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Django Cat typed thus:
Maria Conlon typed thus: It's a slightly pejorative diminutive of ... has parking, food, petrol, phones, toilets and sometimes a motel.

Mmm, to me a Service Station is just a big garage with social ambitions. = You wouldn't call the Watford Gap a Service Station would you?

Certainly, I would.
=20
David
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
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