Even though “English” is spoken by the people in Brooklyn, Birmingham and Brisbane alike, they’re not exactly speaking the same language. As Darrell Milton points out, there are many differences between Australian and American English. While we may like soda and pop, folks living down under are more inclined to pick up a “fizzy drink.” There’s a lot of Aussie slang that we don’t normally hear on this side of the Pacific Ocean!

We continue this week’s speedlink with another perspective on words, turning to the voice of a child and Aaron Gouveia. In reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to his son, his little boy developed a habit of calling out the “purkle cat” (rather than the “purple” cat). Children mispronouncing words can be really cute at first (e.g., “pasketti” for “spaghetti”), but you still want them to learn the right way to say these words eventually.

Changing gears, we have Stacey Robinsmith offering his opinion on the drought in California. It’s a pretty dire situation down there and yet people are still overly concerned about watering their lawns and washing their cars. And let’s not forget about how much water is used for fracking and by almond farms either. Even if you don’t live in California, you should be concerned.

To this day, one of my most popular posts is the one on opening a US checking account as a Canadian. My primary motivation was to avoid PayPal’s terrible foreign exchange rates Duane Storey agrees, but rather than opening an account with an American bank, he decided to open a USD account with TD. Unlike most other USD-denominated Canadian accounts, this one does allow for US dollar withdrawals directly from PayPal.

And finally, Ariane Khachatourians tells us how a chance encounter with a cute guy from Belgium seven years ago has completely changed her life. They met in Boston, found each other a year later in DC, and didn’t see one another until another year and a half later in Copenhagen. What started as a temporary move to Vancouver became a permanent one, as they “started to build our life together.” The road has had its bumps, but Ariane is “so grateful.”