‘Please turn on the Beamer, so we can start the meeting in time,’ my colleague says.
Huh? The Beamer?
Are they giving me a company car?
Wow, I like the direction this is going.
Nope. Not a chance. Instead, this is another example of them having funny English-sounding nicknames for things that those of us with an Anglo mother tongue would never have thought of. Another false friend.
In this case, it’s what the Germans call an overhead projector. A Beamer!
I’m not kidding.
It ‘beams‘ they assure me. Like ‘beam me up Scotty‘, but for real. It beams their presentations and visuals up on the screen. Hence Beamer.
What makes it a false friend, though?
Well, we already use Beamer for something else. Not sure about the Brits or the rest of the Commonwealth, but us Yanks?
We use it as a nickname for a BMW. That’s right. If you’re tooling round in an auto made by the Bayerische Motoren Werke, that’s a Beamer, baby!
Now I’m looking back at the above photo with the church at Mariahilfplatz. Beam me up, indeed.