Which is more commonly used where you live (US vs UK) "lamppost" or "streetlight"? Thank you!
Aug 6, 2018 3:45 PM
Answers · 10
Streetlight is what I have always said and seen here in the US.
August 6, 2018
Mostly for Bill: a side note on Wikipedia. There is only one "English Wikipedia." Long ago, they worked out how to handle the difference between British and US English. The simple answer is that it English Wikipedia is not "owned" by either British or US editors, and uses a mix of national usages. Whether a particular article uses either British or US English depends, basically, on who got there first. Each article is supposed to be consistent throughout as to whether it uses British or US usage. It is against the rules for an editor to try to change the national style of an established article. Other editors will quickly revert it to the previous state, and anyone who persists in trying to do it will get blocked or banned. This is spelled out in more detail at: Because of the ability to create "redirects," articles with British term will always be given a redirect under the US term, and vice versa. Thus, if you type the word "lamppost" into the search box, it will accept it--and show you "Street light," with a note "Redirected from 'lamppost.'"
August 6, 2018
In the US, "street light" is the common word for the light itself, or for the light and its pole considered together. The support is called a "pole," or a "light pole," not a "post." Although "lamp" could be used, to me the word "lamp" suggests a light that works by burning fuel, like an oil lamp or a gas lamp. If you say "street lamp" my first thought is of an old gas lamp, and perhaps a lamplighter going around turning on the lights. Similarly--I find this hard to explain--but when I hear the word "post" I think of a relatively short post, perhaps no more than 2.5 meters high; while the support for a modern street light, maybe eight or ten meters high, is a "pole." The supports for electricity, telephone, network fiber, etc. are "utility poles." In the United States, there can always be regional variation in language. And almost every supposedly "British" usage is heard in the US, just less frequently.
August 6, 2018
Lamp post (two words) in the UK, though I note some editor has offered lamppost on wiki so I'm guessing that is an American editor for those parts of the US who don't use streetlight. :-) Dan, thanks for the feedback, I was aware of this concept but you've spelled it out pretty well. Do I believe that people try to even out their versions of language on obscure issues like lamp posts? Nah.
August 6, 2018
August 6, 2018
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