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Author Topic: American English, United Kingdom English and Internet English  (Read 8604 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 04, 2008, 02:29:29 PM »

The other thread on how to spell aluminum got me thinking.  It is interesting how both American and UK and some Commonwealth members have taken to mixing up the spelling between the three.  Ten years ago you would have never seen an American write things such as
realise
defence
colour
centre
orthopædics
rumour
cheque
organise
the list goes on and on but you catch my drift.  Not that it is bad I often turned papers in way back in university (haha another not-so American term, we'd say college)  with mixed English spelling from the colonies and the main island and never once got any points deducted Smiley  - I just wanted to see if any grad student grading my papers for the professor would actually underline and correct my English English spelling.
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 02:38:17 PM »

Interesting. I did not know that there is this "diffusion" of the British spelling into the American spelling.

When I was in school in the former USSR, for whatever reason, our English teachers taught us only British spelling and grammar. I could not even imagine writing "labor" or "color" or "tumor" - it was always labour, colour, tumour. When I moved to the USA in 1990, it seemed to me that everyone except myself is misspelling words and also misusing grammar. I remember that I once started to argue with an American that it is incorrect to say and write "I have learned," because the correct way is "I have learnt."

And of course I was taught that people drive lorries (what's "trucks???"), eat sweets (what's "candy?Huh"), use lifts (what "elevators???"), RING each other on the phone, etc. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 02:46:16 PM »

When I moved to the USA in 1990, it seemed to me that everyone except myself is misspelling words and also misusing grammar.

They likely were.  Wink  Americans (myself included) tend to use a sort of instinctual grammar based on what they've heard while they were growing up.  If it sounds right, it must be right.  The problem is that you get used to hearing something the wrong way and it becomes so ingrained that the proper English starts to sound wrong.
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 07:42:51 PM »

Of course, there are some differences in acceptable American and English grammar.  For example, "toward" is correct in American, "towards" in English; "gotten" is correct in American but not in English; restrictions on the use of "shall" or "will" apply in English but not in American; "while" vs. "whilst"; etc.  Then there are the punctuation differences....!
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 08:24:41 AM »

^Amercian English tends to canonize grammar mistakes that fall into general usage.  About a hundred years ago, people still said "I shall" and never "I will" until the next few generations started using the two forms interchangeably.  Now you'll mostly hear "I shall" in humor, mostly to make fun of "posh" speech.  Colloquial speech is powerful.  Shakespeare is a great example of how colloquial speech becomes the accepted speech pattern, even until our time when it pratically becomes the exalted speech pattern.
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 08:54:31 AM »

Interesting. I did not know that there is this "diffusion" of the British spelling into the American spelling.

Well, I use the "ou" form and some of the speech but I'm not sure if it's because Montana shares a border with Canada or because of my father being stationed in England during WWII (he enjoyed it immensely) and then in France for some years after that. Then again both of my parents care about grammar in speech and writing so I do say "learnt" for example.

About 20 years ago, there was a new employee where I worked who had just graduated from college.  He told me once that I spoke "like an 18th Century novel".   Grin 

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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2008, 09:13:21 AM »

About 20 years ago, there was a new employee where I worked who had just graduated from college.  He told me once that I spoke "like an 18th Century novel".
Can there be a higher compliment?
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2008, 10:08:46 AM »

^Indeed!
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2008, 10:10:16 AM »

Can there be a higher compliment?

Well, you or I might consider it a high compliment.  I think he meant that I sounded peculiar to his ears.  Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2008, 10:16:15 AM »

Could be.  I once had someone from my hometown ask me if I was from England because of my accent.  I just looked at her and told her, "I'm from the same town you are."  I left off the bit about "I just paid attention in English class."
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2008, 10:28:22 AM »

We once went visiting some relatives of my father-in-law down in North Carolina.  At one point in the conversation an elderly aunt said to me "I love your accent."  I think it was because I pronounce words like "out" and "about" with vowels that are a bit Canadian/British (that border with Our Neighbors to the North and all that)

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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2008, 11:05:42 AM »

Ah!  Oot and aboot!  Smiley  I love the Canadian/American North accents.  They have a nice Scottish influence in them.  (And leave it to the Scots to complain about their weather only to move across the ocean to a place with about the same weather.)
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2008, 07:14:49 PM »

Depends on where you are in the American North.  In these parts, you also have a strong German influence.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2008, 09:08:39 PM »

Ah!  Oot and aboot!  Smiley  I love the Canadian/American North accents. 

Glad you like it, eh.  Wink  The thing is, I don't hear myself saying "oot and aboot" but someone once "accused" me of this.  Ha ha. 
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2008, 11:23:21 PM »

Ah!  Oot and aboot!  Smiley  I love the Canadian/American North accents.  They have a nice Scottish influence in them.  (And leave it to the Scots to complain about their weather only to move across the ocean to a place with about the same weather.)

I don't think I say them with a really strong "uu/oo" sound, but it's not the "ow" sound as it "OW! he bit me!" either. 

 Wink

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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2008, 02:49:36 PM »

At least us Aussies know how to spell properly Wink
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2008, 10:23:11 PM »

At least us we Aussies know how to spell properly Wink
I fixed it.
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2008, 10:24:29 PM »

At least us we Aussies know how to spell properly Wink
I fixed it.

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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2008, 10:25:52 PM »

At least us we Aussies know how to spell properly Wink
I fixed it.

Unable to turn off your teacher switch?
There's a switch? Wink
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2008, 10:33:49 PM »

Unable to turn off your teacher switch?
There's a switch? Wink

Yeah - it's called "Summer" Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2008, 10:45:40 PM »

Unable to turn off your teacher switch?
There's a switch? Wink

Yeah - it's called "Summer" Cheesy

Makes no difference at all.  This is the same man who will wake up at 5 am on a Saturday to expound on the chemical properties of various household items and then launch into a lecture on the Canadian highway systems.
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2008, 11:33:13 PM »

Makes no difference at all.  This is the same man who will wake up at 5 am on a Saturday to expound on the chemical properties of various household items and then launch into a lecture on the Canadian highway systems.

Yikes. Wink

Limit Caitlin's exposure; only foreign politics, and zoology for Mr. Y around the kid.
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