Carousels and Merry-go-Rounds http://bit.ly/121MjFi

It is weird how discussions go sometimes on the internet, clockwise, anticlockwise, even counterclockwise. I saw a quiz question from Mike B on Facebook asking what is the difference between carousels and merry-go-rounds. People mentioned wooden horses, up and down motion of the seats and then someone hit on the “answer” – one goes clockwise the other goes the other way.

merry-go-round-horse-brighton-pier

Well, I call Deceived Wisdom on that! It sounded too spurious. There were claims that fairground owners make this distinction, but not in Britland they don’t. In Britland these contraptions are always called merry-go-rounds only a wannabe Amercun would call it a carousel…so thinking logically, I reckon the difference is not intrinsic to the contraption, it is simply a linguistic artefact of the Atlantic divide. Brits call them merry-go-rounds and perhaps because of our sword-bearing history and driving on the left and all that, here they go clockwise. While Americans call them carousels and in Americaland these contraptions go anti…sorry, counterclockwise. A paragraph in Wikipedia would bear this up, except that they say Europe when they mean Britain (don’t think Germans nor French call these contraptions merry-go-rounds in their native tongue.

If anyone has evidence that my logic on this is flawed, please let me know. Otherwise, this is a snippet for volume two of my book that’s written itself thanks to logic and a Facebook quiz.

Mike asserts that in the US both terms are used interchangeably, well they are here, they’re synonyms, but the English would rarely use the word carousel other than as an affectation. I wonder whether the merry-go-rounds Mike sees going clockwise in the US are imports and that explains why he reckons they shouldn’t be used interchangeably…

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