'stress' had travelled across from America


Senior Member
All text cited below is quite undestandable word by word and sentence by sentence, but I can't comprehend what implicates the last sentence "No wonder the word 'stress' had travelled across from America."
Maybe there is any information in the background, obvious for Brits or Americans but not for foreigners.
The "immense cylinder" mentioned below is a huge building, the headquarters of great international trust, big conglomerate of many firms.
There is no more context in the original text.
Tweed stared at the immense cylinder perched where the street forked, a round colossus so high he couldn't see the top. There were people everywhere, hurrying along under umbrellas. More cones, an army of them as pedestrians hustled along. No wonder the word 'stress' had travelled across from America.
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The author assumes that the word stress is an Americanism - a word invented in America that is now in use over here. The author thinks that the word applies to the people he sees here as well as Americans.
    The character watches a scene of crowded rush of corporate slaves milling around a building. The whole scene looks American to him and he thinks that as the (stressful) American working practices got adopted in the UK, so did the need for the word stress arose. There is, perhaps (natives, please help) an implied contract with presumably older, slower, gentler and more genteel enviroment of The City.

    I wonder what the cones mean? Are they traffic cones?

    It is, by the way, of transatlantic origin, though not from the US. Its use to designate physiological, and by extension, psychological pressure originates with a Canadian of Austrian origin, Hans Seyle.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    I think the reference to "stress" here refers to what I have observed as increased usage of the word in everyday, hectic (stressful) American society, e.g., in the expression "stressed-out."
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