posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:29 AM
This thread was inspired by another thread which is current in the off-topic section, titled 'Mad World'.
It refers to the song of the same name, written by British synth pop band, Tears For Fears.
I was just thinking how odd this must sound to an American ear...because 'mad' in Britain doesn't mean the same as it does in the US.
At least it didn't. But I'm coming to that.
If you ask a Briton, "Are you mad?", they will assume you're casting doubt on their mental capacity...and they wont be impressed.
If you ask an American the same question, they will think you are just wondering if they're angry.
British 'mad' = crazy
American 'mad' = angry
So 'Mad World' means 'crazy world' - not 'angry world'. But then, you knew that.
But then I thought...no, that can't be right.
The word 'mad' must have the same meaning on both sides of the Pond.
What about the well-known Dinah Washington classic, 'Mad About the Boy'?
That's clearly meant in the British sense of 'crazy'...but then it was written by a Brit (Noel Coward), who also wrote 'Mad Dogs and
So I wracked my brains...hang on just a cotton-pickin' minute here, I thought.
What's that famous, highly successful US comedy movie classic from the 1960s called again...'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'? (viz. It's a
Crazy, Crazy, Crazy, Crazy World; the title just doesn't work if the American meaning is intended)
American actors, American producer and director, and crucially, American screenwriter, William Rose.
Then I discovered that Rose went to live in Britain later in life, and married a British wife.
Guess what? Yup. She co-wrote that movie script with her husband.
All the famous titles of songs and films with 'mad' in (meaning 'crazy') seem to have been written, or influenced, by Britons.
It must sound strange to Americans...have they taken on the British meaning yet?
What does 'mad' mean to you?