American English from sea to shining sea

Sep 30, 2011 by

In a number of recent postings, I’ve discussed American English words that have penetrated into British English and vice versa. But it must be remembered that neither American English nor British English are uniform, but are...

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Americanisms vs. Britishisms

Sep 29, 2011 by

In a recent posting, I’ve looked at the journalist Matthew Engel’s BBC piece on Americanisms in British English and discussed some of the fallacies found in that article. One of the points I made there is that...

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BBC enquires “Why do some Americanisms irritate people?”

Jul 21, 2011 by

Recently a student of mine forwarded to me this article from the BBC website. BBC has long been the stronghold of “proper English”, so I am not completely surprised to see such a strong rhetoric coming out of a BBC...

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Endangered languages as the next cool lingo?

Jul 5, 2011 by

As we discussed in an earlier posting, people often perceive the changes in language due to technology (computers, texting, the Internet, etc.) in a very negative light. But there may actually be some positive effects to texting and...

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You say "tomato", I say "tomahto"…

Apr 26, 2011 by

It is no surprise than people in different parts of the English-speaking world, or even of the US, say things differently. Claire Bowern, associate professor of Linguistics at Yale University and co-creator of the North American...

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Russian on screen

Apr 5, 2011 by

To stay on the subject of language in films, I want to share a pet-peeve of mine: inappropriate or inacurate rendition of foreign languages in films. Typically, what catches my eye (or ear?) is “bad” Russian in American...

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