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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.

We used to use the term "service station" to mean a gas station. I suppose the term is "used to" because I haven't heard it for years. Milton Berle used to encourage us to visit our Texaco service station. He would come out singing:
Oh we're the men of Texaco,
We work from Maine to Mexico.
There's nothing like this Texaco of ours.
Our show tonight is powerful;
We'll wow you with an hour-full of howls
From a shower full of stars.
We're the Merry Texaco Men.
Tonight we may be showmen.
Tomorrow we'll be servicing your cars!
There was also some line about "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star", but I may have that slightly wrong.

We use the term "service plaza" to describe one of those places on a controlled access highway where you pull off to eat, go to the bathroom, or fill up the tank. (Not that you can't do any combination of these) They are also called "Oasises", "rest stops", and probably other terms.
Django Cat typed thus:
Off the motorway you'll see places billed as 'services' which are simply a filling station built next to a chain ... looks like it means "stop here and induce vomiting". But this set-up means if you want to use the karzi

khazi - perhaps you've never seen it written down before. I think it's one of those Anglo-Hindi words.
Everybody I know who's been to the States talks about the friendly attitude of waiting stuff, people in shops, and ... drivers (especially barmen and taxi drivers) in the UK have bloody-mindedness in bucketloads. But boy, are they sincere about it.

There is, of course, a reason for the above. Every American knows* that if he works hard, looks after the customer and says "Have a nice day", he *will become CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and later, President.
Europeans long ago grew out of such silly notions; they are serving their time until retirement on a pension, most of which has been stolen by the bosses and politicians, one of whom is probably standing in front of them right now.
I've really enjoyed reading AUE and the other couple of groups I've looked at over the last six months and ... Or is a 'freeway' just something in rock songs? Or does it means there isn't a toll? (fades into distance)...

Don't be confused by the slight differences in language, which are something of an irrelevance. Americans are foreign. Far more foreign to you and me than people from France and Germany or even Greece and Norway. We've had exchange children in our house from all over Europe (including the Eastern Block), and the USA. It was the American children who were difficult to manage, and who found us entirely incomprehensible.
I learned this when I lived over there in my late teens and I go back most years for a visit; the UK public still thinks that Americans are like us. They're not.

David
==
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At the tender age of 45 I'm finally going to be visiting the US for the first time in the ... Or is a 'freeway' just something in rock songs? Or does it means there isn't a toll? (fades into distance)...

I don't know if they are available in otherpondia, but the Nextel mobile telephones allow you to either place calls as you would any telephone call, or link up directly to other chosen parties in a kind of two-way radio set-up. The advantage is that you can frequently contact certain people without using your telephone minutes.

I suggest that when you come here, that you establish such a link with our Richard Fontana (aka: Areff) for questions about freeways, tollways, interstates, roads, boulevards, streets, alleys, and all other forms of horizontal movement paths used by mechanized devices.

Frequent contact will be essential since you may be in some state where Areff will insist that there are no such things as a "freeway", and be given directions by a native to the area to take this particular freeway to get to some other place. You may also find yourself on a thoroughfare that is clearly labeled as a boulevard but one that does not have the Areffian-essential descriptive points for a boulevard.
Areff is the ultimate authority on all of the terms related to transportation pathways in the US. His advice will frequently conflict with local terms and established nomenclature, but it's well-known over here that most Americans don't know what the hell they're talking about. Not as well-known as it is in the UK, but well-known.
If you plan to eat when over here, Areff will also be able to provide you with information about what to call a place that serves food for money, what to call the seating arrangement, what to call the various parts of the establishment where you might pay for your meal, and what the correct terms are for the foods available. These terms will often be at odds with the establishment's terms, but what do they know?

On second thought, pack lunches and bring them with you.

Oh, and as an added suggestion, bring a global positioning device. Explaining that you are in "the midwest" or the "eastern seaboard" just doesn't work with Areff. Best work from latitude and longitude references.
We use the term "service plaza" to describe one of those places on a controlled access highway where you pull ... (Not that you can't do any combination of these) They are also called "Oasises", "rest stops", and probably other terms.

"Oases" for me. Unless my dad was being funny, in which case it was "oasiseseses". To me, a "rest stop" just implies a place to pull off the road, stretch your legs, and go to the bathroom. There's probably a vending machine, but probably not a gas station, store, or restaurant. An "oasis" will almost certainly have all three. Most of the ones I was familiar with in Illinois were built as overpasses, so the same oasis could be used from either direction.

I don't think I've ever heard anybody call one a "service plaza".

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >Now every hacker knows
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 > That the secret to survivin'Palo Alto, CA 94304 >Is knowin' when the time is free
Tony Cooper filted:
Short for Service Station - a place beside the road which has parking, food, petrol, phones, toilets and sometimes a motel.

We used to use the term "service station" to mean a gas station. I suppose the term is "used to" because I haven't heard it for years. Milton Berle used to encourage us to visit our Texaco service station.

I think it was in Asimov's "The End of Eternity" where a time-traveller had to be warned that, in mid-20th century America, a "service station" was not generally a place you went to have sex..r
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Django Cat filted:
I'm looking forward to finding out where you stop to get petrol on the motorway... er.. gas on the... um... ... Or is a 'freeway' just something in rock songs? Or does it means there isn't a toll? (fades into distance)...

Quick checklist:
"highway" - called by the people who build them "limited-access road"...if you can legally get on or off a road more than two places in a single mile, it's a highway..
"freeway" - a highway you don't have to pay to drive on...(cf "tollway", a highway with a turnstile)..
"interstate" - a highway specifically designated as part of a system of such roads for defense purposes...it need not cross a state line; there are six of them in Arizona and only four cross any state lines...there's even one in Hawaii..
"roundabout" aka "traffic circle" - damfool foreign contraption somebody saw in Europe and thought it was cute...people will go dozens if not hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid using one..r
We use the term "service plaza" to describe one of ... are also called "Oasises", "rest stops", and probably other terms.

"Oases" for me. Unless my dad was being funny, in which case it was "oasiseseses". To me, a "rest ... I was familiar with in Illinois were built as overpasses, so the same oasis could be used from either direction.

http://www.panix.com/~rbean/oasis / agrees with you on the plural form. It looks odd to me, but I'll go along with it.
I don't think I've ever heard anybody call one a "service plaza".

That's the term used in Florida. See
http://www.dot.state.fl.us/turnpikepio/general information/travel%20info/interchanges.htm
Django Cat filted:

I'm looking forward to finding out where you stop to ... does it means there isn't a toll? (fades into distance)...

Quick checklist: "highway" - called by the people who build them "limited-access road"...if you can legally get on or off ... thought it was cute...people will go dozens if not hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid using one..r

Hah! That may be well and good in Draney Country, but not as an all-USA checklist. Let's not worry about it this time around, OK?
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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Django Cat typed thus:

Off the motorway you'll see places billed as 'services' which ... this set-up means if you want to use the karzi

khazi - perhaps you've never seen it written down before. I think it's one of those Anglo-Hindi words.

Yup, presumably from army slang. Guareenteed not to travel. Thanks for the spelling..
Don't be confused by the slight differences in language, which are something of an irrelevance. Americans are foreign. Far more ... I go back most years for a visit; the UK public still thinks that Americans are like us. They're not.

No, I suspected this to be the case. My next door neighbours are from Las Vegas.
I've worked at various times in Greece, Belgium and Italy. Italy was last year; I spent 5 months in a small town near Trento in the Dolomites. It was utterly beautiful, but I kept having the nagging feeling that it wasn't foreign enough. What would once have been a fabulous adventure was just time spent in another, albeit very pleasant, European country. OK the language was different (and I went not speaking any Italian), but there weren't really any surprises. I'm hoping to find American agreeably foreign.
DC
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