Author Topic: Do you find Americanisms irritating?  (Read 506 times)

Offline St Truth (OP)

Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« on: September 25, 2017, 11:04:33 PM »
And the worst about them is they are creeping into England and the rest of the world at a steady pace. A lot of words we use today were dismissed in my parents' time as unacceptable Americanisms. I'm sure it's an indisputable fact that British English is linguistically superior. After all, English isn't just our language, it's also our national identity. There are a lot of nuances and different shades of meaning that we have now lost because of the corrosion of our language by Americanisms. The domination of US English has a lot to do with their film industry. English books that are published in the US by English authors are routinely translated into US English by the publishers but American books published in Britain retain their language.  Try reading Harry Potter published in the US and you'll see I'm right.

I may not be politically correct but I'm truthful for I am...

St Truth

Offline Baruch

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 11:06:58 PM »
And the worst about them is they are creeping into England and the rest of the world at a steady pace. A lot of words we use today were dismissed in my parents' time as unacceptable Americanisms. I'm sure it's an indisputable fact that British English is linguistically superior. After all, English isn't just our language, it's also our national identity. There are a lot of nuances and different shades of meaning that we have now lost because of the corrosion of our language by Americanisms. The domination of US English has a lot to do with their film industry. English books that are published in the US by English authors are routinely translated into US English by the publishers but American books published in Britain retain their language.  Try reading Harry Potter published in the US and you'll see I'm right.

I may not be politically correct but I'm truthful for I am...

St Truth

Very interesting.  Did you know that some Americanisms are obsolete Anglicisms?  England moved on, in some ways, while the colonials stayed where they were already at.
שלום

Offline Shiranu

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 11:14:37 PM »
And the worst about them is they are creeping into England and the rest of the world at a steady pace. A lot of words we use today were dismissed in my parents' time as unacceptable Americanisms. I'm sure it's an indisputable fact that British English is linguistically superior. After all, English isn't just our language, it's also our national identity. There are a lot of nuances and different shades of meaning that we have now lost because of the corrosion of our language by Americanisms. The domination of US English has a lot to do with their film industry. English books that are published in the US by English authors are routinely translated into US English by the publishers but American books published in Britain retain their language.  Try reading Harry Potter published in the US and you'll see I'm right.

I may not be politically correct but I'm truthful for I am...

St Truth

10/10, would troll the Brits again.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." - Nelson Mandela

"Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." - Miguel de Cervantes

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 11:20:02 PM »
I'm sure it's an indisputable fact that British English is linguistically superior.
No.

Exhibit A: kerb
Exhibit B: waggons

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 11:53:43 PM »
And the worst about them is they are creeping into England and the rest of the world at a steady pace. A lot of words we use today were dismissed in my parents' time as unacceptable Americanisms. I'm sure it's an indisputable fact that British English is linguistically superior. After all, English isn't just our language, it's also our national identity. There are a lot of nuances and different shades of meaning that we have now lost because of the corrosion of our language by Americanisms. The domination of US English has a lot to do with their film industry. English books that are published in the US by English authors are routinely translated into US English by the publishers but American books published in Britain retain their language.  Try reading Harry Potter published in the US and you'll see I'm right.

I may not be politically correct but I'm truthful for I am...

St Truth
You do realize that most on this board are American?  Anyway, are you related to Hyacinth Bucket?  I think you might be a bit of a prig or maybe more accurately, a toff?

British English is older, but not necessarily better.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 01:53:12 AM »
I like the way that Americans feel the need to make up new words for words we've already got.   Americans are friending people on Facebook.

You don't friend someone, because friend is not a verb.   You can befriend someone however.
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Offline St Truth (OP)

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 02:52:19 AM »
Good Lord! I didn't expect such a flurry of excitement. I'll address each one of you briefly.

What Baruch says may be true only of very limited examples. The perverse American removal of 'u' in labour, colour, and so on may have a historical basis. It's true that these words used to be spelt in English without the 'u'.  But I'm not so concerned about spelling that does not lead to any confusion. What interests me more is something more serious. A lot of Americanisms stem from the people's inability to distinguish the finer shades of meaning which may be too subtle for those who live in the coarser and more hazardous new world. You see, when you are confronted with more pressing needs such as how to avoid getting scalped by the natives, you don't bother with intellectual subtleties in the language. You need no more than a few simple words eg 'RUN!!! Injuns comin'!'

Haha, I was only kidding. Hope I didn't ruffle feathers. Hydra009 only confirms what I have been saying. In the UK, kerb means pavement. 'Curb' means 'restrain' or 'restraint'; it's both a noun and a verb. But in the US, 'curb' means both restraint and pavement. That is precisely what I mean. American English fails to distinguish a lot of English words.

It's easier to express subtle nuances in British English that you can't in American English. There are millions of examples but I'll just give one. I can give you more if you want - even in the area of grammar as opposed to semantics.

When I first went to America, I was surprised to hear this announcement just before the train departed for another another airport terminal: 'This train will depart momentarily'. I remember laughing and my mum was telling me to 'stop it' even though she found it funny but that's the usual adult hypocrisy. An old woman who was seated near us asked me why I found the announcement funny. I told her if the train departed momentarily, it would have to return to where we were seconds later. She looked confused. When I got home to England, the first thing I did was to check my dictionary and of course I was right. But when I checked an online dictionary, I discovered something strange. In normal English, 'momentarily' means 'for a moment'. The boy shuddered momentarily before he collapsed. But in America, people have confused 'for a moment' with 'in a moment' so that 'momentarily' can mean both 'for a moment' and 'in a moment'.

Although I make fun of US English, I do recognise American hegemony throughout the world even in the arena of linguistics. The tide of US English is what grammarians in England have since the time of Henry Fowler sought to check but without the smallest success. The time will come when the Queen herself will say, 'RUN!!! Injuns comin'!'  LOL

Please forgive my political incorrectness for I seek only the truth, as the one and only...

St Truth
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 02:54:41 AM by St Truth »

Offline Sal1981

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 04:05:46 AM »
I don't see why this matters.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 06:41:42 AM »
I don't see why this matters.
Yep. You have to give someone permission to piss you off before they can do it.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Munch

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 07:06:39 AM »
eh, i watch enough american tv programs, cartoons and movies to have gotten use to it. If anything its easier to understand then some of the unique dialects around the uk like in the midlands or wales.

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:42:01 AM »
eh, i watch enough american tv programs, cartoons and movies to have gotten use to it. If anything its easier to understand then some of the unique dialects around the uk like in the midlands or wales.
When I got married (again) in 2010 one of our guests was a young lady from Scotland. I picked her up at the airport and had a forty-five minute drive back to the house. During that entire trip she chatted away and I didn't understand a damn word she said.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Munch

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 08:15:36 AM »
When I got married (again) in 2010 one of our guests was a young lady from Scotland. I picked her up at the airport and had a forty-five minute drive back to the house. During that entire trip she chatted away and I didn't understand a damn word she said.

curiously I've not found this yet, since I go up to Scotland all the time to see my boyfriends, I've only ever once meet someone who spoke in such a broad Scottish accent I couldn't understand a word she was saying at a local shop. Everywhere else in places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness had mixes of different dialects from all over.

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 10:13:06 AM »
curiously I've not found this yet, since I go up to Scotland all the time to see my boyfriends, I've only ever once meet someone who spoke in such a broad Scottish accent I couldn't understand a word she was saying at a local shop. Everywhere else in places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness had mixes of different dialects from all over.
She was Glaswegian. And a hooker.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline trdsf

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 10:39:45 AM »
I didn't, being a middle American in the heart of "accent?  We don't have an accent in Ohio" country.  And then I started listening to BBC Radio 4 a lot.  And now I find even my own tone jarring sometimes.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Re: Do you find Americanisms irritating?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 10:47:53 AM »
I didn't, being a middle American in the heart of "accent?  We don't have an accent in Ohio" country.  And then I started listening to BBC Radio 4 a lot.  And now I find even my own tone jarring sometimes.
The Midwestern accent was a favorite of TV execs in the '50s as being the "most neutral" accent for Americans. (You get to define "Midwest".)
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers