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Americans are angry with us for polluting their language
The Telegraph ^ | February 7, 2011 | Kath Hinton

Posted on 02/07/2011 5:08:46 AM PST by NCjim

After mangling our language for years, Americans are complaining about the invasion of traditional British lingo, says Kath Hinton.

New Yorkers always fall for a nice English accent: whenever my well-spoken sister-in-law visits, they trill at her flowing diction and faultless vowels. Coming from Liverpool, I have a trickier time. In fact, I stopped ordering butter after three waiters in one smart restaurant failed to grasp my pronunciation. "Bootta! Bootta!" I pleaded, while my American friends wept with joy at my embarrassment.

Now, however, it is the words we Anglo-Saxons use, not how we say them, that is causing a stir. After mangling our language for years, Americans are complaining about their own dialect being polluted by "Britishisms".

New Yorker Ben Yagoda, a professor at Delaware University, is studying the invasion of traditional British lingo. He has set up a website to keep track of the wicked, uniquely British words such as "kerfuffle" or "amidst" that are creeping into everyday American usage.

Yagoda's biggest objection, he tells me, is to words for which there are "perfectly good American equivalents, like 'bits' for 'parts' and 'on holiday' instead of 'on vacation' ". They are, he says, "purely pretentious".

Of course, British English has been under assault from this side of the Atlantic for centuries. America's most notorious linguistic anarchist, Noah Webster, decided more than 200 years ago that the English couldn't spell, decreeing that theatre should become theater; favour, favor; jewellery, jewelry; and so on.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: british; english; expats; grammar; tiddler; tittingoffagain
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To: NCjim
I should say that English varies throughout England. "Brit" usually means Londoner (and I don't mean Cockney.)

Has anyone noticed that a Massachusetter trying to speak Brit English sounds like a Liverpudlian? Also of note: Scots trying to deracinate their accent sound Canadian.

101 posted on 02/07/2011 7:18:05 AM PST by danielmryan
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Around here, 'Holiday" is liberal code speak for "Shove your religious observances where the sun don't shine and leave it there to rot".

Other than that, yea, it's a fairly regular word. Why are you fretting so much about a little buggers' charter anyway?

102 posted on 02/07/2011 7:19:03 AM PST by Earthdweller (Harvard won the election again...so what's the problem.......? Embrace a ruler today.)
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To: caver

Ordinarily, I agree with your assertion. There’s nothing more pretentious than a “Shopping Centre” in the USA.....obviously, the property owner/developer is thinking that by using British spelling, he’s creating something high-class. I will however, absolutely defend H.P. Lovecraft, my all-time favorite American horror author. He was an admitted Britophile, and always used British spelling in his stories. “The Colour out of Space” just don’t have the same impact with it’s American counterpart, for me at least. So, I guess when Lovecraft did it, I’m cool with it. Other folks are just pretentious a$$h____s.


103 posted on 02/07/2011 7:33:41 AM PST by AnAmericanAbroad
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To: AnAmericanAbroad

It’s interesting that you and several others defend the use of British spelling due to their fondness of literature and poetry. Having no interest in works of fiction or poetry, I cannot agree. I read history, mostly military history.


104 posted on 02/07/2011 7:48:07 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: Daveinyork
Dave, they have great food in Hungary so I take back all those things I said about you.


105 posted on 02/07/2011 7:56:57 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: caver

“whilst”. We don’t say that word yet so many iditos use it to try to sound British.


106 posted on 02/07/2011 8:03:07 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: AnAmericanAbroad
OK, you just named one of my three favorite authors (H.P. Lovecraft). I'm also a major Terry Pratchett fan.

Luckliy, Robert Heinlein keeps me from being too pretentious. :-)

107 posted on 02/07/2011 8:05:06 AM PST by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
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To: Graybeard58

It’s German. A college friend used to say it, and I found it in Mencken.


108 posted on 02/07/2011 8:07:51 AM PST by firebrand
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To: NCjim

British never could speak english!!!


109 posted on 02/07/2011 8:09:05 AM PST by dalereed
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To: nathanbedford

Most of the time, to me, food it food, fuel, something to fill the hole, and I don’t really notice it unless it’s exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad. I thought the roast lamb, which we eat pretty regularly at home, was exceptional, as was the beef wellington, which is my all time favorite.

And the tea rooms in the US cannot seem to get the scones and clotted cream right.


110 posted on 02/07/2011 8:10:34 AM PST by Daveinyork
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To: NCjim

And when did hooded sweatshirts become “hoodies”?


111 posted on 02/07/2011 8:13:36 AM PST by Stingray51
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To: BlueLancer

“... the cashier says that the rubbers are in the pharmacy section”.

Hysterical!!


112 posted on 02/07/2011 8:14:50 AM PST by momtothree
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To: NCjim

I like to tease my British friends by saying that I’m surprised we didn’t leave earlier.


113 posted on 02/07/2011 8:29:02 AM PST by jda
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To: Earthdweller; nathanbedford

Some English food is great, and breakfast was my favorite meal there (for dinner we always had Indian). Grilled tomato half, toast standing up in the toast holder so it stays crisp, thick somewhat tough bacon . . . and mutton chops, which you can’t get here unless you pay $35 at a restaurant like Keen’s. Sausages at the cafeteria. Cornish pasties.

Of course when they try to do American food they are hopeless. Cheeseburgers with the cheese not melted.

Possibly some of this has changed since I was there. I know there was a foodie revolution there in the eighties.


114 posted on 02/07/2011 8:32:01 AM PST by firebrand
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To: MaryFromMichigan
drop the "the" as in "going to the hospital"

That one bothers me too. It's a Canadian thing also so we Michiganders are likely to hear that a lot.

115 posted on 02/07/2011 8:37:44 AM PST by stayathomemom (Beware of cat attacks while typing!)
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To: Stingray51; firebrand
And when did hooded sweatshirts become “hoodies”?

About the same time "gourmet" became "foodie".

116 posted on 02/07/2011 8:37:50 AM PST by kosciusko51
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To: kosciusko51

Those two words have different meanings to me. The foodie revolution was when young, ordinary, nongourmet folks started getting into food. The eighties. Gourmets we have had with us for a long time.


117 posted on 02/07/2011 8:44:20 AM PST by firebrand
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To: Miss_Meyet; jla

Yummm.


118 posted on 02/07/2011 9:14:40 AM PST by stayathomemom (Beware of cat attacks while typing!)
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To: firebrand

I understand there is a difference, but “foodie”, “hoodie”, the ‘90s term “hottie” (for men) are all diminutive nouns. Their usage usually is meant as a subtle put-down of the item or person in question (compare to the ‘70s “trekkie” vs. “trekker” debate), or the superiority of the user over the said item.


119 posted on 02/07/2011 9:21:18 AM PST by kosciusko51
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To: Graybeard58

Being from the South, standing “on line” always struck me as wrong. You stand in line, not on line. I think that’s a New York deal however, so there you go.


120 posted on 02/07/2011 9:39:32 AM PST by alarm rider (The left will always tell you who they fear the most. What are they telling you now?)
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To: Daveinyork; firebrand
I am with you 100% on the scones and clotted cream. While in England I usually make a custom of going to the finest hotel in the area and ordering just that. Believe it or not, a couple of decades ago there used to be a little bistro in Fort Lauderdale, off Las Olas, which really had good scones and clotted cream. But they are long gone.

English breakfasts are good but can also be greasy. Kippers, however, redeem many sins but the English kitchen is greatly in need of redemption. When they used to close the pubs in the afternoons one was forced to regulate travel schedules to accommodate the strict closing hours after noon rush and until dinnertime, I could never seem to remember when to eat.


121 posted on 02/07/2011 9:45:00 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Tupelo; NCjim

>> we are losing our regional accents <<

And I consider it a real shame. When I drive the Interstates across the South, from Virginia and the Carolinas down to Alabama and Mississippi, I now notice that the teenaged waitresses at IHOP and Cracker Barrel all use “Valley Girl speak,” pretty much identical to Britney Spears. Ugh!


122 posted on 02/07/2011 10:19:56 AM PST by Hawthorn
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To: NCjim
Since when did a common sweatshirt become a "hoodie"?>

And quite frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of the commercials with voice backgrounds having British accents......there's tons of them now.

123 posted on 02/07/2011 10:28:53 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Oh Magoo, you've done it again.....)
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To: stayathomemom
Mushy peas, chips and fish. (Mushy peas at 6-8 o'clock on the plate)


124 posted on 02/07/2011 10:41:56 AM PST by Miss_Meyet (Muse to the World, and loving it)
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To: NCjim

I’m chuffed about this thread.


125 posted on 02/07/2011 2:12:12 PM PST by Disambiguator
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To: BuckeyeTexan
No kidding. I’ll take “gobsmacked” and “kerfuffle” any day of the week over “we be chillin” and “shiz.”

Or my all time favorite - "ax" as in "Let me ax you a question." Pure affectation, and irritating as a mofo.

126 posted on 02/07/2011 2:22:48 PM PST by jimt
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To: All
I forgot to mention that while watching the Super Bowl on Sunday with a Brit, he kept calling it "soccer".

I mean, really, how unaware is that?

Honestly.

127 posted on 02/08/2011 5:24:54 AM PST by Miss_Meyet (Global Muse)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Didn’t ‘braining’ used to mean hitting someone in the head, wheras in some parts of America (mainly gang-banger scumland) it now means ‘blow job’?


128 posted on 02/08/2011 11:59:05 AM PST by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: Graybeard58

I’m a Brit and I’ve never heard that one. It must be a homegrown phenomenae...


129 posted on 02/14/2011 3:43:51 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: Tupelo

But the English themselves have been adding words to the language for centuries - that is one of the side effects of colonialism. There are lots of imported words from arabic, urdu, hindi, spanish and dutch. There is a huge number from French. Most of what were known in Britain as “americanisms” (like “sure” for example) were in fact perfectly proper English words that had gone out of use in Britain itself. That’s interesting, as it means that the language is developing faster in Britain than it is in America, which is rather odd, as you would think it would be the other way round.


130 posted on 02/14/2011 3:52:04 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: Daveinyork

That is a very British attitude to food!


131 posted on 02/14/2011 3:58:25 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

If it comes to your shores, just nip it, nip it in the bud.


132 posted on 02/14/2011 4:10:39 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country. The thing is, Sarah loves mine.)
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To: Vanders9

When Rush was discussing his weight loss program, and he said that you have to change how you view food, I realized that I always viewed food as fuel, and eat according, and my weight at 61 is the same as it has been for 20 years.


133 posted on 02/14/2011 5:33:17 AM PST by Daveinyork
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To: nathanbedford

,,, when were you last in New Zealand and what did you eat? On the four occasions I’ve been to the US I’ve had opportunities to meet wonderful people and see amazing things with the resultant resolve to keep returning. McDonalds, KFC and other such “food” options have never contributed positive composites to my decision processes. I do recall tasteless hydroponic vegetables and very reasonable priced meals, but don’t claim higher ground on food, whatever you do.


134 posted on 02/22/2011 3:32:57 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: sodpoodle

I grew up in Australia, but have been back for over 20 years. I worked hard to get rid of my accent, but some very keen listeners have picked *something* up and asked where I’m from. Only one person actually pinpointed the very scarce accent as Australian.


135 posted on 02/22/2011 3:42:36 PM PST by reformed_dem
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To: reformed_dem

Grew up in England eons ago - when it was possible to detect; by accent alone, the person’s village of residence.

The English dialects are becoming homogenized - which is rather sad. I hate the present-day “BBC” accents. Everyone has identical, semi-Cockney, nasal monotones - with a tedious inflection/rythm.


136 posted on 02/22/2011 3:50:59 PM PST by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God 's redemption.)
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To: shaggy eel
It's one thing to engage in good-natured ribbing about the deplorable cuisine of New Zealand but in the wake of the earthquake in Christchurch I don't much feel like playing that game.

I was much impressed by Christchurch, a lovely town, it reminds me in architecture of Princeton.

I have very fond recollections of New Zealand, none of them associated with food. I recall one time running a motor home into a ditch and being unable to drive it out when a farmer came along with his tractor and pulled us out. He was a genuinely nice guy and insisted on giving us a full tour of his farm. It was at the depths of socialism in New Zealand and he explained with a real tear in his eye that he was about to lose his farm and that is last hope was a pasture with a very high fence to contain dear whose antlers he harvested to be ground up as aphrodisiacs for oriental men.

I recall flying with my wife near Christchurch in an ancient biplane when the engine quit so the pilot pushed the nose down to spin the prop and get the old engine going again. Apart from this excitement, I well remember the beauty of the landscape below which rivals that of Bavaria for being green and lovely.

I remember sitting in a pub in Auckland New Zealand watching a rugby match involving the much beloved All Blacks when I was puckish enough to question, "I don't understand how you can take seriously any game played in short pants." It was a narrow thing but I did not go sailing through the window, proving beyond doubt what a sane and reasonable people the Kiwis are.

Just don't eat their food.


137 posted on 02/23/2011 12:01:17 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: NCjim

I particularly like “whinging” instead of “whining”, and “stupid git”. :)


138 posted on 02/23/2011 12:07:33 AM PST by Politicalmom (America-The Land of the Sheep, the Home of the Caved.)
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To: nathanbedford
It's one thing to engage in good-natured ribbing about the deplorable cuisine of New Zealand but in the wake of the earthquake in Christchurch I don't much feel like playing that game.

,,, everything you said after that would lead me to believe you would.

Landing RVs in ditches and aviating without an engine would put me off food as well.

139 posted on 02/23/2011 5:19:39 AM PST by shaggy eel
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