I don’t take—I mean, get—it

Dirk the Daring sent:

Mitch suggests that perhaps supposing the absence of showering has not gone as unnoticed as purple-ring person supposes, but that seems pretty weak. He also commented on “get a shower, wondering if it was Canadian.

I spent 17 years growing up in Canada, as the son of a linguist, and am pretty aware of Canadianisms in general—although since those were my formative years, I occasionally use one without thinking, and have to explain to Americans what I mean. I never heard “get a shower” there, but it is the kind of thing that British English does differently. I work with a number of Brits and hear “different to” where an American would say “different from” every day, and it’s always jarring.

Couple of links on that topic:



I know, you’re thinking “Get a life”. Better than “Take a life”, I guess!


  1. Mitch might have the answer, but then why in the world did the artist bother to copy/paste a fourth panel? That joke was completed in the 3rd panel, and the fourth adds nothing, except for the artist’s signature. At the very least, the guy on the left should have looked a little crestfallen, and the lady on the right a little more triumphant. However, that would have required some actual drawing work, rather than just another copy/paste operation.

  2. Instead of showering he has used the pool to get clean. Yellow ring person suddenly realizes she’s sitting in dirty bathwater.

  3. I know a lot of English slang. (I work for an England-based company on a global team.) There’s exactly one that annoys me, and I do not know why. Many South English accents say “years ago” as “yeezagow”. There are non-rhotic American accents that do “yeez” for “years”, but that final vowel and the utter lack of a pause between the words grates on me. As I say, I don’t know why.

  4. I think panel 3 is yellow ring saying “HA! That’s a good joke.” And panel 4 is yellow ring suddenly realizing it wasn’t a joke.

  5. Philip is correct. The joke is not complete in Panel 3. Though it would work better if the “Ha” response came in panel 2 immediately after the comment.

  6. The designation of the characters coupled with the subject matter keeps me expecting for the topic to devolve as another thread did into how much pee is in the pool, but, until now (alas?), it hasn’t…

    (“Alas” because by mentioning it, I have driven it there, even if no one takes it up…)

  7. As I Canadian, I’ve never heard someone say “get a shower.” Only “have a shower” or “take a shower.” But Canada is a big country, so maybe it’s regional to somewhere??

  8. You can take a shower in my bathroom but don’t take the last one. The weekend’s coming up and I don’t want to have to go out to get more.

  9. As chemgal says, Canada is a big country. How they say something in Calgary isn’t necessarily how they say it in Moncton. If British English has it this way, I think you’re more likely to hear it in the Maritimes than in the West.

  10. Even besides various “Pennsylvania Dutch” effects, there are a number of other grammatical peculiarities that occur in that state and nowhere else. I know of this from relatives, although I cannot recite any examples myself. Still, I think that the “get” in this comic is just as likely to be a Penn State regionalism, rather than Canadian or British.

  11. I started googling “get a shower” with various states, starting with Pennsylvania, and got many hits for varying states (and not just “get a shower remodeled”), so I guess it’s more common than we thought.

    WordPress is definitely borked–this is the second time today it’s making me login, despite “Stay logged in”.

  12. @ phsiiicidu – WP did that on our second tablet for months, then suddenly it “remembered” and everything was fine. As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m not sure that the problem is in WordPress, it might be a security/cookie/privacy setting in the browser, or just a glitch preventing WP from picking up the cookie’s setting.

  13. After the discussion earlier in the week, I in fact loosened one of the settings that looked like it might have something to do with the sign=in requests. But I guess that didn’t smooth out anything.

  14. What Kilby says is true – there are the “Pennsylvania Dutch” expressions in Pennsylvania as well as local “English” expressions. Just a small one – in NYS and other places we have been when one pays cash for something and changed is owed the cashier says ” Your change is $2″, but in PA they say “$2 is your change” as a standard reply. Not a big change, but one example of same.

    When Robert comes down for late night snack (our 3rd meal of the day and our breakfast replacement meal) later (around 2 am/2:30 am) I will ask him if he has heard about “get a shower” or anything similar. He has spent a good deal of time over the past year or two reading fiction books about the Pennsylvania Amish which are written by an “English” (non – Amish) woman who grew up there and tends to be careful of keeping things correct about them – plus he corresponds online with her.

  15. Thanks, although I have to admit that there are times when I have difficulty dealing with “same” as a relative pronoun. 😉

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