June 19, 2003


Did Candace Bushnell really say this?

"I talk to tonnes of guys when I go out - nice, single, married - about what they think and feel."

Posted by Tim Blair at June 19, 2003 02:56 AM | TrackBack

Maybe a one Imperial ton American male weighs less than a one metric ton Australian male.

Posted by: Ned at June 19, 2003 03:59 AM

What a hogshead of crap.

Posted by: Andrew at June 19, 2003 04:08 AM

It's just the effect of trying to cope with a limited, you know, the number of words you can think of. It's like, uh, well, you know. Sometimes it can make you sound in-art-whatever.

Posted by: Ernie G at June 19, 2003 05:17 AM

Hmm. I use that phrase all the time. I think it's one of those Americanisms that didn't catch on overseas.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 19, 2003 06:26 AM

I also often use _tons_ colloquially, as well as the variations "sh*t-tons" and "a metric f*ck-tonne".

Posted by: Scott Janssens at June 19, 2003 07:24 AM

So she met Michael Moore, what's the big deal?

Posted by: charles austin at June 19, 2003 08:19 AM

IS she a victim of a rogue spell-checker?

Posted by: Toryhere at June 19, 2003 08:43 AM

She may have said ‘tonnes’ or she may have said ‘tons’, the latter seems more likely but since they are virtually synonyms it’s no big deal. I was more taken aback by Crean’s line at the press conference the other day when he said that he would accept "nothing more that 100% loyalty." Very reasonable I thought.

Posted by: Simon Roberts at June 19, 2003 10:43 AM

I've met Bushnell, and she really does talk like that. (And she smells of cheap perfume and fags, and her coat had a fag burn on the shoulder, but she was really quite lovely.)

Posted by: Jackie D at June 19, 2003 12:02 PM

It's certainly a common phrase in my experience. And it isn't that far wrong either. Assuming an average mass of 80 kg a tonne of guys is only a dozen, so tonnes is synonymous with dozens.

Posted by: Patrick at June 19, 2003 12:25 PM

Does the confusion stem from the variant spelling?

She probably did say she met tons of guys (which given the shape of American men of her age probably didn't take a large number to comprise thousands of pounds).

However, when getting transcribed by an author from some other continent, the transcriptionist would certainly use his or her native spelling.

Were I to say "Please, do not criticize the license taken in my humor," (although I rarely speak like that), a British or Australian paper might quote me as "Please, do not criticise the licence taken in my humour."

Or does the confusion stem from the fact that tons are both measurements of weight (or mass) in Imperial and metric systems?

I understand that, too, when measuring the meter of poems. I never know whether to write them out all in a line or to count the syllables.

Posted by: Brian J. at June 19, 2003 11:01 PM

It's more than variant spelling, isn't it? Perhaps it's different in Australia, but in North America (the northern bit of it anyway) "ton" is pronounced tun, while "tonne" is pronounced pretty much like it's spelled. It's not just different spelling, they are actually two different words. Hell, Canada has had the metric system for a generation now, and I still never hear anyone actually say "tonne".

But I would hope this was an innocent mistake in editing rather than some bizarre form of metric PC.

Posted by: Sean E at June 21, 2003 03:06 AM