“There is little that irks British defenders of the English language more than Americanisms, which they see creeping insidiously into newspaper columns and everyday conversation. But bit by bit British English is invading America too.” Quote from BBC.
So we all think that we speak English, but what is English, do we even know anymore? How can we have UK English, US English, Australian English etc. surely English is English? It would seem that it is not. Would it not be more accurate to describe it as English with Americanisms and so on?
A few years ago, I learned that in some countries, English students are now taught US English, they then come here and cannot understand why lots of words are spelled differently! Is it me or would you expect someone learning a new language to learn the original?
Mostly we understand each other perfectly, whichever version we use. However, this week a fellow member and I discovered that what he calls a sweepstake, I would call a competition. Other notable differences include:
Fanny - In UK, usually a woman’s name or intimate part of a woman’s anatomy. In US a different part of anyone’s anatomy!
Car Boot in UK – trunk in US
Car Bonnet in UK – hood in US
Pavement in UK – sidewalk in US
Autumn in UK – fall in US
Hair fringe in UK – bangs in US (took me years to figure that one out!)
Pants in UK, trousers. In US underwear.
Biscuit -in UK hard, baked, sweet or savoury. In US a kind of bread (possibly what we would call a type of scone?)
That takes the biscuit! – in UK, something really bad, annoying or objectionable.
Can you add more? What stumped YOU?
What irks you most?
I think one thing which irks me very much is being called a Brit. I am English or British!
If English is not your first language, which version did you learn?