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jvill
10-19-2012, 02:43 AM
I'm currently editing and came across:

"A draught picked up around me."

Upon researching I Googled this:
http://www.englishforums.com/English/ControversialWordDraftsCurrent/jxhpx/post.htm

But I wanted to hear your opinion on it.

The context of my scene is that it is in-fact in an enclosed space (a small arena). Therefore would 'A draft picked up around me' be acceptable or is the fact I didn't say 'A draft of wind picked up around me' taboo?

Wha'cha think?

Bufty
10-19-2012, 03:11 AM
Context will determine how far you need to explain the draft/draught. Spelling varies US/UK.

Can't say I particularly like the phrase on its own either way.

jvill
10-19-2012, 03:43 AM
Sorry, double-post. Please ignore.

jvill
10-19-2012, 03:46 AM
Sorry, but that didn't help me. Which one do I use in this context of a small enclosed area? And if it's a bad phrase, what would you suggest instead?

Maryn
10-19-2012, 03:56 AM
jvill, he's saying that which spelling you use depends on whether you use US spelling or UK spelling for the rest of the book.

To me, in the US, a draft is not some light breeze which picks up or disappears. It's air leaking in from a closed door or window. Our house isn't that old, but it was cheaply built and the draft in the kids' bathroom is so bad it can move your hair. The front window in the living room is drafty, too, but not as much. Still, it's pretty nippy to sit on the couch in the winter, what with the draft coming in.

Maryn, hoping that helps

GeekTells
10-19-2012, 03:57 AM
Draught is the Brit spelling of draft. That alone should probably rule your usage, but in the U.S. I would certainly use "draft" to refer to air or wind. I could possibly work myself into a bit of anglophilia and use draught to refer to a pint of beer being drawn in a bar or pub in the U.S., but I'd feel dirty about it. I would feel less dirty if the scene was set in a British pub.

A quick check of the OS X dictionary specifies that U.S. usage is draft for air, drinking, pulling, writing stages, etc.

jvill
10-19-2012, 04:06 AM
Thank-you, and thank-you to the admin for putting this thread in its proper place. My bad.

frimble3
10-19-2012, 05:57 AM
To me, in the US, a draft is not some light breeze which picks up or disappears. It's air leaking in from a closed door or window. Our house isn't that old, but it was cheaply built and the draft in the kids' bathroom is so bad it can move your hair. The front window in the living room is drafty, too, but not as much. Still, it's pretty nippy to sit on the couch in the winter, what with the draft coming in.

Maryn, hoping that helps
Same usage in Canada, at least in my part of the country. 'Draft' is for inside, 'breeze' is for outside. 'Draught' is for die-hard anglos.


Sorry, but that didn't help me. Which one do I use in this context of a small enclosed area? And if it's a bad phrase, what would you suggest instead?

If your 'small, enclosed arena' is a covered building, like a boxing ring, or judo hall, I'd say 'draft' works, as the wind has come in by accident. If it's just enclosed by walls, with no roof, like a small stadium or tennis court, I'd go with 'breeze', as the wind has free access.

Which may not make dictionary sense, but conveys the difference between the words.

Specifically, even if it's inside, I don't if 'picked up' is exactly right. Usually drafts are pretty consistent. You can move into them, or out of them, but they usually stay in one place, depending on the source of the wind.

Bufty
10-19-2012, 01:44 PM
One either is or is not sitting or standing in a draught/draft, and that phrase alone needs no elaboration to convey the intended meaning.

It's a through-current of air usually caused by a partially open or ill-fitting door or window and may be along the floor or at shoulder level or whatever you choose, but even if the height or extent of the draught/draft is not specified - the basic 'standing or sitting in or feeling a draught/draft' is still self-explanatory.

cray
10-19-2012, 04:47 PM
i thought this thread would have more beer.

mirandashell
10-19-2012, 06:16 PM
'Draught' is for die-hard anglos.




Do I even need to ask?

Jamesaritchie
10-19-2012, 07:36 PM
Yeah, "draft" is something you feel inside, as in "There's a draft in here." Or a drafty old house.

"Breeze" is what you feel outside.

And I don't think I'd ever say a draft picked up around me. For that matter, it's overly wordy to say a breeze picked up around me. Where else is it going to pick up?

Chase
10-19-2012, 08:54 PM
I think you're all wrong, though I agree with Cray a beer would go great right now. A draft was compulsory military service back in the day.

frimble3
10-19-2012, 10:34 PM
Do I even need to ask?
Sorry if it sounded offensive. I was trying to say that it's an indicator of 'Britishness', that the writer is either an immigrant, the child of immigrants, who was surrounded by written material with British spelling, or just a fan of British literature, using the British spelling for effect.

Xelebes
10-21-2012, 02:51 AM
An updraft or updraught is what lifts a glider.

A draft or draught is a directed wind or an unintentional soft venting of air.

A breeze is an undirected wind, usually described as pleasant. Not to be confused with a seabreeze which is directed (wind coming in from the sea.)

The phrase would be: "I was picked up by an updraught."

Meems
10-22-2012, 01:52 AM
Of course it depends on the context and time period of your story, but for me draught just seems like one of those words that seem out of place in a first-person narrative.

It's a word like chortle. Rarely do people telling a story say "and the joke was so great I chortled out loud." or "He chortled until he had tears in his eyes."

I would go with draft.

Jamesaritchie
10-22-2012, 10:36 PM
An updraft or updraught is what lifts a glider.

A draft or draught is a directed wind or an unintentional soft venting of air.

A breeze is an undirected wind, usually described as pleasant. Not to be confused with a seabreeze which is directed (wind coming in from the sea.)

The phrase would be: "I was picked up by an updraught."

An updraft is not the same thing as a draft, of course, and I've never heard of a directed draft. Certianly not in the context we're talking abut here.

Where do you get that a breeze is an undirected wind? I'm not I've ever seen a breeze that didn't have a direction. Usually a pretty steady direction.

Xelebes
10-24-2012, 07:37 PM
Where do you get that a breeze is an undirected wind? I'm not I've ever seen a breeze that didn't have a direction. Usually a pretty steady direction.

Maybe it's the local usage here. A breeze is gentle and comes through many directions - it never follows a particularly traceable direction. Something that comes from somewhere is known as a wind or, if especially warm, a chinook.

Chase
10-24-2012, 08:46 PM
Something that comes from somewhere is known as a wind or, if especially warm, a chinook.

Yep, in our Rocky Mountains, chinooks (Salash American Indian for snow-eating wind) are quite directional. In Montana and the western Dakotas, they blow warm from the northwest. In Washington, Oregon, and the Idaho panhandle, the snow melting winds comes from the northwest. I'm sure the more northern Canadian Rockies experience is the same.


Merriam Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary: chinook (often not capitalized) : a warm moist southwest wind of the coast from Oregon northward b : a warm dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Xelebes
10-24-2012, 09:39 PM
There are other words for wind.

Chinook - warm, dry wind from the west.
Keewatin - bitter wind from the north
Idaho High - warm, gentle wind from the south.

Chase
10-25-2012, 02:35 AM
Chinook - warm, dry wind from the west.

According to Webster and locals (for a couple of years to thousands), from where chinooks come depends on which side of the Rockies one is. But, yeah, winds have defining names.