British Vs American English I must admit that when I think of how the Americans have bastardized the English language I get right up on my high horse and wave my sword for King and Country! However, I then realize that I?m being somewhat, if you will excuse the British idiom, daft.
Someone once pointed out to me, whether they were full of it or not, that the American version of English is the logical progression of the natural evolution of the language, and that we in the mother country speak a falsely regimented version meant to stifle said evolution. Well, he did not exactly use those words, but I thought I would make it sound more grandiose.
The problem with this argument is that it is so much, to use an Americanism, baloney. Once a language is created, it will progress along its own evolutionary track, and like the species of man coming down from the trees two million or so years ago, even from the same bud will form many varied versions. Hence the two sides of the Atlantic, although sharing a common root tongue, will, and have, inevitably formed a distinction all of their own. As an example of vocabulary autonomy, take the last sentence and the use of the word ?of? ? it can be used or not, dependant solely upon your predilection; I for one believe the word was created for exactly that purpose and so use it! The same can be said with ?although? and ?though?, ?until? and ?till?, ?lit? and ?lighted? ? the list goes on ad infinitum and that does not even have anything to do with the cross border divide. Therefore the words we use are not always via choice, but more likely through area assimilation; hence the word ?dialect?.
There are many other countries that speak English as a first language, and they all have their own versions. england
itself is said to have the most regional dialectal variations in the world, and considering england
is just about big enough to kick a ball across that is saying something when you compare it to places like Russia with its immense landmass or India and china
with their huge populations.
The main differences, and they are so slight as, almost, to warrant scant attention (but obviously not as there is so much dialogue/dialog [see!] on the subject) are in slight pronunciation and spelling, and minor ones at that.
Being raised with an importance in speaking the Queen?s English and using it appropriately, I roar with indignation when I hear or see something woefully corrupted ? in my own country the inability of people to pronounce ?th? and replace it with a really lazy ?f? drives me up the wall. It is a sound that not many languages use and hence individualizes our language, yet they continue to ?slap it in the face?.
The irony is, however, that I also rail at the blatant disregard for phonetics in our language. It is, simply put, ridiculous! This has come along due to the absorption of words from a plethora of invaders and settlers over the centuries bringing their languages and melding them together as one. This irony is brought about through the fact that although I sneer contemptuously at the seeming snub of Americanisms eroding the core Briticisms of English, I actually condone the act of simplifying and altering spelling and/or pronunciation! Even though my intolerances (brought about mainly through my liking of stability and hence disliking too much change) charge with me decrying the ?foreign? violation of my language, my inner core of ?teeth grinding frustration? over the stupidity of English in respect to how we write it as opposed to how we say it cries out for modification that the Americanisms are actually incorporating (at least some of it is)!
I would love to be able to rewrite and create a new and improved version of English, up to date with the modern world so to speak (even though I like heritage ? I?m a dichotomy all to myself, ?oh the inner turmoil!?), but these things have already been tried with the International Auxiliary Language BASIC (British American Scientific International Commercial) by Charles Kay Ogden for the purposes of scientific/commercial furtherance between nation states, with others trying likewise and not meeting with universal success.
As the little cartoons I added to give some ?pazazz? to this sesquipedalian piece show, apart from there being some spelling and pronunciation differences, and apart from the tense error above which was most likely a simple typo, the major problems with international usage of the same language are the common phrases you will come across. These pictures illustrate the huge misinterpretations of language between the two nations, and how the same words can mean completely different things.
This however, can be seen within the borders themselves, as you cross county/shire/state boundaries, people speak differently there too, almost as if it were a separate nation in and of itself.
So no matter how you rail against it, or support our differences as being an essential state of the Human ?being?, languages will evolve, and they will diversify, no matter how we may strive to bring them together. Nothing stays the same. Life is mutable; the world is mutable; language is, perhaps, the most mutable of all.