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NWOrientDC10
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British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:07 am

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
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Sabena332
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:11 am

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
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halls120
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:13 am

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
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
whitehatter
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:13 am

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.
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cosec59
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:17 am

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
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oldeuropean
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:58 am

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

Axel
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Doona
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:15 am

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.

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checkraiser
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:24 am

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.
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petertenthije
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:37 am

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.
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:40 am

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.
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Dougloid
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:59 am

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".
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:01 am

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
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ltbewr
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:37 am

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.
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:35 am

Dougloid, the US should not beat itself up about practically illiterate students, it's the same here.
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:21 pm

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).


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aseem
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:28 pm

what about Canadian english..essentially British English with American-like accent.
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Basas
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:22 pm

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...
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:33 pm

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.
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:35 pm

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 .
 
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ManuCH
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:36 pm

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)
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:38 pm

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.
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:43 pm

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.
 
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:52 pm

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!

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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:27 pm

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 ?
 
gkirk
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:49 pm

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

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:01 pm

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 24):
English "English"

while "Scottish-English " ? wee wee different ?
 
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ManuCH
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RE: British English/American English

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:17 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 23):
but WHAT is a "PITA" kid ?

P.I.T.A = Pain In The ... Butt  Smile
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:00 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 26):
Pain In The ... Butt

well, this is not what I felt in schooltime. Sometimes bored, sometimes interested, sometimes "stressed", --- but NOT .....
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:22 am

I'm wondering what "English IV" will sound/be written like.

 scratchchin 

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whitehatter
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:41 am

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 about a place in the USA, around the Georgia area, where they had a local dialect which was extremely close to southwest England and contained identical slang words.

It would make a lot of sense as many of the original settlers would have left from places like Plymouth and Bristol. There are also clues in accents spoken by those from southwest England, southern Ireland and the eastern US seaboard.

Other areas seem to have combined French and Spanish elements into US English. There is so much variation after all. If I go 30 miles up the road, people speak completely different to me!
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:05 am

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
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:53 am

Ironically, I was "schooled" in grammar by Irish Nuns; Catholic Education  fight .

I survived

Russell
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Sabena332
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:04 am

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 11):
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
learnt

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

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
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yowza
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:17 am

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 sure somebody at MS is pissed that they need to have:

English (US)
English (Ireland)
English (UK)
English (Australia)
English (NZ)
English (Trinidad)
English (Jamaica)
English (Philipines)
English (Carribean)
English (Zimbabwe)
English (South Africa)
English (Canada)

YOWza
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:44 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 32):
A stupid question beside the apostrophe mistake: What is right now, "learnt"or "learned". That is a pretty much hard task for me actually.

True, I found this mistake after posting the message. I was hoping it wouldn't be caught. Apparently it was  embarrassed 

Thank You for keeping me honest  Smile (I will not rest on my laurels)

Russell
Things aren't always as they seem
 
Sabena332
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:50 am

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 34):
True, I found this mistake after posting the message. I was hoping it wouldn't be caught. Apparently it was embarrassed

Thank You for keeping me honest Smile (I will not rest on my laurels)

Errrr..... actually I was refering to my own post (#1).

Patrick
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:59 am

OMG! I did it, again!

Never Mind  mad 

dammit

Russell
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Sabena332
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:04 am

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.

Patrick
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:09 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 37):
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.

Patrick

I have had wine, myself. Let us call a truce  shakehands 

 Smile

Russell
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Sabena332
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:12 am

Whatever....

Enjoy the wine!

Patrick
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:33 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 39):
Enjoy the wine!

I shall (and am).

Thank You

 Smile

Russell
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RE: British English/American English

Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:24 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 32):
now, "learnt"or "learned". T

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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