Vernacular Spectacular #9: “elevator” vs. “lift”

So, today we’re considering what to call the box that moves folks between floors. Notably, both words focus the “going up” aspect, which is only half the job but I suppose is the tricky bit.

Word-wise, we’re using four syllables in the US, whereas Oz and the rest of the commonwealth uses only one. One might quibble that it isn’t “lifter” instead of “lift,” but I’m so used to “forklift” and “ski lift” that this seems normal.

Lift is a bubbly little word, while elevator is more serious, even ominous. A reasonable person could be afraid of elevators, while it feels like only the unaccountably prissy could be afraid of a lift.

Jeremy’s winner: lift

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