I play in Spain, where the word "pre-empt" is generally not well understood. The word most commonly used which seems to work well in English, French & Spanish is "barrage".
Last week I was playing (in a predominantly English speaking group) with my regular partner and the dealer, my LHO (the lady who runs the Friday afternoon bridge group) opened 1NT (15-17). My partner bid Stop 3H. Opener asked me what 3H meant and I said it's a barrage, (later I added weak with 7 hearts.) Opener immediately said "she can't do that She has to say 4H!". I was rather taken aback and before I spoke again my partner said "I can do it & I just have!" I was directing and playing. So I just said 'anybody can bid whatever they like', please continue. It took several more comments before the other two stopped talking, with opener insisting that 3H over 1NT is not a barrage. A few days later the opener (now not well enough to play) sent a message to me that she had phoned the Bridge association ... who? The EBU? I don't know who she called, but apparently they verified that she is correct and that my partner has to say 4H over 1NT for it to be a barrage.
I am totally astonished by all this. I have not seen the lady since, as she isn't well. I do not wish to continue arguing with her and will not mention the subject again unless forced, but I would like to know the facts - surely she is not right, is she?
Here is my p's hand spade Q heart Q J 10 9 6 4 2 diamond 10 7 5 4 club 2. The opponents got a top! Opps did have 3NT, but no-one made it!
Anyway to reiterate my question: My partner can bid 3H over 1NT and we can play it as a standard pre-empt can't we?