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British English/American English  
User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1761 times:
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This is something I've been pondering. Which is proper? I'm referring to the written language rather than "accents"; colour/color, defence/defense, analyse/analyze and so on. Since it is "English", it could be argued that British English is correct. However, since the popuation of the US outnumbers that of the UK, then maybe American English is correct.

Maybe both are correct.

Probably, the first Americans (18th century) spoke Middle English and sounded British. Since then, the British kept their "accent" while Americans modifed the language both written and spoken (I can't understand why)

I'm wondering if there will be an "English IV" and what it will sound like. There was Old English, Middle English, and now "Modern English". Maybe, about 200 years from now, there may be a "sequel" to our present day language - "English IV".

Interesting ...  scratchchin 

Russell


Things aren't always as they seem
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1755 times:

Usually I am using American English and not British English like I learnt in school, I don't know why, maybe because I spend way too much time in the USA.  Wink

As for accents, California English is by far the easiest accent to understand for someone who is not a native English speaker.

Patrick


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Thread starter):
This is something I've been pondering. Which is proper? I'm referring to the written language rather than "accents"; colour/color, defence/defense, analyse/analyze and so on. Since it is "English", it could be argued that British English is correct. However, since the popuation of the US outnumbers that of the UK, then maybe American English is correct.

I don't know which one is "correct," but when we are working on international legal documents, we generally defer to British English for spelling. It's the least we can, given that every copy Microsoft Word sold in the UK supposedly comes with American English as the default setting.  Wink


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Two twin brothers are separated at birth and grow up differently due to literally millions of factors. So which one is the 'right' one?

Same principle. Both have evolved since 1776 and all that, so both are equally correct. Nobody owns English.


User currently offlineCosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1738 times:

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)


User currently offlineOldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2066 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1695 times:

What`s about Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries (e.g. in the Caribbean)? There are more than 2 brothers.

Axel



Wer wenig weiss muss vieles glauben
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3764 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1671 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Thread starter):
Since then, the British kept their "accent" while Americans modifed the language both written and spoken (I can't understand why)

My guess would be that the American accent evolved from British English as well as the accents of all people who emigrated to America from all over Europe.

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1650 times:

Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 5):
What`s about Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries (e.g. in the Caribbean)? There are more than 2 brothers.

Their English is very closely related to 'British' English.

The reason US English has the spelling variations goes back to the period around the American revolution. The first American dictionary (Merriam Webster) changed the spellings because we wanted to seperate ourselves from the (at the time) much hated British.

As for which is correct...

My guess is when formally dealing with other English speaking nations British English should be used. When dealing domestically 'American' English should be used. While 'British' English would probably be acceptable, you will look like a tool, unless you are in fact, non-American.


User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3341 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1630 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Thread starter):
Since then, the British kept their "accent" while Americans modifed the language both written and spoken (I can't understand why)

Actually, my English teacher explained it was the other way round. American English is closer to the old version then British English. Apparantly the American English never evolved as much so as to make it easier for immigrants to pick it up. At the time it was felt that it was already hard enough to learn what was for many a 2nd language without changing it.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineVH-KCT* From Australia, joined May 2001, 479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1629 times:

Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 5):
What`s about Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries (e.g. in the Caribbean)? There are more than 2 brothers.

Not really, we use British English (surprise, encyclopaedia, manoeuvre, harbour, favourite, analyse, aluminium, tyre) and Wikipedia (notice it's spelt in American English) calls it Commonwealth English.

Although with the prevelance of computer use by the computer illiterate, and with Word still coming with American Engish as the default language (and even with Australian English selected, it still tries to correct various correctly spelt words), there is a growing use of 'incorrect' spelling.



I am The Stig
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1610 times:

What really cracks me up is the misuse of the spellcheck feature. People here in the states give idiots a bad name.

The high schools are graduating huge numbers of people who are essentially illiterate, only they don't know it.

One of my students sent me a paper that consistently used "wonton" in place of "wanton". Another used "Mrs. Kosher" for Mrs. Kohler, and the best one came in last week that someone had "failed to state a clam".


User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1610 times:
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Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
learnt

"Classic English" I haven't heard that in a while. I daren't put an apostrophe in your word  Wink

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 3):
Two twin brothers are separated at birth and grow up differently due to literally millions of factors. So which one is the 'right' one?

Same principle. Both have evolved since 1776 and all that, so both are equally correct. Nobody owns English.

I have to disagree with the first part. To me, America is a grown child of England. In a sense, England gave birth to America. The rest of your statement is absolutely correct  Smile ("A friend will argue with you - unknown author")

Quoting Doona (Reply 6):
My guess would be that the American accent evolved from British English as well as the accents of all people who emigrated to America from all over Europe.

That makes alot of sense; hmmm...  scratchchin 

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13004 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

Then you got the differences in terms for various everyday items even not including slang terms - for example:
Lift/Elevator (Elevator was originally a trademark of the Otis Company recoginzed in the UK.
As to motor vehicles: boot/trunk; bonnet/hood and others.
Zed/the letter Z; ironmonger/hardware shop;
rubber/rubber band or elastic band (in USA slang, rubber is slang for a condom)
Also in the USA and Canada, the 1st floor in a building is the main ground level floor. Elsewhere, the 1st floor is that floor above the ground floor.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13148 posts, RR: 78
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

Dougloid, the US should not beat itself up about practically illiterate students, it's the same here.

User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1527 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 7):
Their English is very closely related to 'British' English.

Written - yes. Spoken? No.

I can only speak with reference to Australian English. Many British slang terms are completely foreign to many Australians. These days, young people in Australia are more likely to use the word "dude" than "mate". The Australian accent is moving into the mid atlantic - with a clear mix of "British" and "American" English entering the Australian lexicon. The very fact that we have dollars as currency, we live in states of our country, various sections of the government are called "Departments" as opposed to "Ministrys" - are all structural deviations from Commonwealth English that have contributed to this Amerianglostralian language I'm familiar with as an Australian (hell, even our system of government is called the Washminster system).


QFF


User currently offlineAseem From India, joined Feb 2005, 2046 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1523 times:

what about Canadian english..essentially British English with American-like accent.
cheers!!
VT-ASJ



ala re ala, VT-ALA ala
User currently offlineBasas From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1514 times:

Quoting Aseem (Reply 15):
what about Canadian english..essentially British English with American-like accent.
cheers!!

"British English" may be the proper way to spell words here (in Canada), but the majority of spellings I see (favorite, color, center, harbor, etc.etc) are spelt the American way. Kind of like how we use miles/gallons/inches/farenheit etc.etc just as much as metric. But we do speak pretty well the same as Americans...


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Thread starter):
since the popuation of the US outnumbers that of the UK,

but the number of people learning British -English for sure outnumbers the one learning American-English. Just have a look at some sizeable country with British-English as "traffic-language" like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana, East Africa, and large "chunks" of the Arab World, plus Continental Europe. Judging from telephone-calls to airlines, Latin-Americans do NOT care much about English and happily declare "I do not speak English" so do NOT count.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
I am using American English and not British English like I learnt in school, I don't know why, maybe because I spend way too much time in the USA

if you spend a lot of time in the USA, it is clear . Amazing is that CNN London is broadcasting 80% in British-English, and that covers a good deal of the international coverage of CNN .


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3010 posts, RR: 48
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1489 times:
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HEAD MODERATOR

American English all the way (talking of personal preference here, not about what's right and what's wrong). I always drove my English teachers crazy with this. But since there's no law defining which kind of English Swiss schools are supposed to teach, they couldn't tell me I was wrong (yes, I was playing the smart PITA kid - didn't we all do that at school? Big grin)


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1485 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
It's the least we can, given that every copy Microsoft Word sold in the UK supposedly comes with American English as the default setting.

There is a rather special point and that is that many changes adopted by the USA ages ago, gradually are adopted elsewhere and integrated into British-English. Beside the fact that Massachusetts-US-English is much nearer to London-English than to Texan. And the language of Brits "up-north" differs quite markedly from the one in Plymouth or Bournemouth or Brighton.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

It of course is a pleasure to inform a US-American in London that he should park his car in the Mews, get through the subway to the tube to get around the city. And reach the next city most swiftly over the motorways. And tell him that he in London could live in a rented flat. Also that M.P.s in downtown are NOT in military police duty but on their way to or from the parliament.

User currently offlineHighpeaklad From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1477 times:

I man in San Francisco asked me what I was doing there and I replied Iwas on holiday for a fortnight, I may as well have been speaking outer mongolian, he just couldn't understand!

chris



Don't try to keep up with the Joneses - bring them down to your level !
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1467 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 19):
there's no law defining which kind of English Swiss schools are supposed to teach,

true. But most schools in Switzerland teaching English on a "higher" level are closely linked with the Cambrigde University, leading to the "Lower Certificate of English" and the "Certificate of Proficiency in English" of that university. Which inevitably results in teachers who are in that pattern. I for instance in the "Akad" in Zurich for the Proficiency had a teacher who orginated from North Carolina but had been at Cambridge University to learn "proper" English due to the idea of his father and then had moved to Zurich to do the teaching of THAT English professionally.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 19):
smart PITA kid

but WHAT is a "PITA" kid ?


User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24899 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

English "English" is the proper, but I guess both forms are acceptable since ppl r now uzin txt language  Wink


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
25 ME AVN FAN : while "Scottish-English " ? wee wee different ?
26 Post contains images ManuCH : P.I.T.A = Pain In The ... Butt
27 ME AVN FAN : well, this is not what I felt in schooltime. Sometimes bored, sometimes interested, sometimes "stressed", --- but NOT .....
28 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : I'm wondering what "English IV" will sound/be written like. Russell
29 WhiteHatter : American English seems to have its roots more in British English as spoken by those from Devon and Cornwall. I remember seeing something on the telly
30 BlackandWhite : ME AVN FAN..yes Scottish English is different if you care to check out the entries in Wikipedia.org on Scottish english and Scots language
31 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : Ironically, I was "schooled" in grammar by Irish Nuns; Catholic Education . I survived Russell
32 Sabena332 : A stupid question beside the apostrophe mistake: What is right now, "learnt"or "learned". That is a pretty much hard task for me actually. Patrick
33 YOWza : Eventually all forms of English will unify and we'll all sound and spell the same. The name of this new language will be Microsoft English. I'm pretty
34 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : True, I found this mistake after posting the message. I was hoping it wouldn't be caught. Apparently it was Thank You for keeping me honest (I will n
35 Sabena332 : Errrr..... actually I was refering to my own post (#1). Patrick
36 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : OMG! I did it, again! Never Mind dammit Russell
37 Sabena332 : Ok, I had a few beers but it seems that both of us are missing the other's post. My only question is if "learnT" or "learnED" in my post #1 is correct
38 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : I have had wine, myself. Let us call a truce Russell
39 Sabena332 : Whatever.... Enjoy the wine! Patrick
40 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : I shall (and am). Thank You Russell
41 ME AVN FAN : looked it up. Looks as if "learnt" is what you did, and "learned" is what you may have become by having "learnt" the stuff !
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