American English or British English

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Lightfire, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010

    I see that "American English" is the standard English in the whole world. But, is it really standard?

    How about british english? i see that it is the official english for most europeans.

    Um, you, what's your english choice???
  2. rogs

    Active Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    As I live in England, I speak --- well ---English!

    Lots of different nations speak English --India, parts of Africa, Australia, USA, Canada....the list goes on. How many of them use 'American English', I'm not sure.
    Probably most 'internet' English is American English, I would guess?
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Depends entirely on the writer, IMO. The decision was made to use American English on the AAC book because the creator was American, but in the scheme of things it doesn't matter. If you are good writer people will enjoy your work no matter what the minor variations are.
  4. nerdegutta


    Dec 15, 2009
    I like to hear "Queens English". Where every word is pronounced perfectly and you can hear the last letters in every word. No slang or shortcuts. I might be old fashion...
  5. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    We tend to think that whatever we grow up with is normal. By sheer weight of numbers, users of American English might expect to carry the day, but so far many of the other English-speaking countries have stuck to their own systems.

    Since I'm British, I use UK English, but sometimes when posting here I might choose the USA word for some things, if I'm aware of it.
  6. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    There is no standard English. There are lots of variations -- and everyone will point to their choice to say "this is standard". :p For some interesting reading, go here.

    I predict there will never be a true standard language, at least in the sense that all humans on the planet speak it as a common dialect. It might be forced by a totalitarian government -- but there would undoubtedly be pockets of resistance. The reason is that languages continually evolve and change (not to mention the differences in dialects). About 30 years ago I flew across the country (boy, my arms were tired) for some business in Boston. I got to the car rental counter and absolutely could not understand what the heck the woman behind the counter was saying. I had to get another guy on the plane to translate for me. And this was just a dialect difference!

    Just in my lifetime, I've seen the language change so much that if I dropped a human from 1950 into today, he'd be continually befuddled by the slang and new technology words.
  7. rogs

    Active Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Language is constantly changing, and English, because it is so widely used, probably changes more quickly than many other languages.

    I think it's very clever how people, where English is not their first language, find ways of adapting the 'difficult bits', to make it easier.

    Take question tags (or as those of you in the US will probably say 'tag questions' !:)).

    In many languages, like French, there is only one -" n'est ce pas" .
    Easy to learn.

    In English? Dozens of them! And they sound stupid, if you use the wrong one, doesn't she?

    So folk find ways round to make it easier to learn. -' yeh?' or 'OK?' will fit most occasions. Ingenious!

    Now whether 'formal' English will ever change to accomodate such changes.......?
  8. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    In Canada we're a big mixed bag, but our english has largely adopted the American usage and spelling.
  9. Georacer


    Nov 25, 2009
    Meh, I prefer a solid language structure with enough variety to guarantee the accurate communication of one's ideas. This is why I love the greek language: you can say exactly what you want, with no one being able to misinterpret your words.
    The drawback is the elevated language difficulty.

    This comes in dire contrast with english where, in my opinion, the language is so oversimplified that sometimes needs strings of adjectives to describe a notion.
    The merit is that everybody can speak your language and can trade with you.

    Take your pick!
  10. soundman

    New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    I have Canadian English. It's basically British spelling with an American accent. Just put, "eh?" at the end of every sentence and instead of saying out about and house, you say oat aboat and hoase and you pretty much have it. That's the English that I like.
  11. VoodooMojo

    Active Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Mom was from England (Norwich). Taught me how to speak, talk and read.
    Dad was from Italy (Turin). Taught me how to speak, talk and read.
    They both tried their collective best to teach me American (Memphis Tenn) English.
    I say SOL-DER and SAL-MON instead of sodder and sammon.
    I know all the Italian curse words because I was a, well, I can not say because this is a family-friendly site!
  12. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    I'm from northeastern Indiana, along with some part of Florida, we are one of the two places that speaks pure English without an accent (some of us anyway).

    The brits are just weird.
    and they drive on the wrong side of the road.
  13. K7GUH


    Jan 28, 2011
    I thought it was oot, aboot, and hoose. But that may be from living in the Pacific Northwest.
    I would say that there is indeed such a thing as Standard English. Its grammar, syntax, and vocabulary are those understood and used by educated persons in all parts of the world. That's not to say that there aren't significant variations, deviations, and outright blunders in various locations. Some of them are truly distressing, such as the outrageous "between you and I". And people who can't or won't pronounce larynx correctly.
    [This opinion brought to you by the Grand Master Curmudgeon Emeritus.]
  14. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    Then you have Loosenglish ;) (you new guy's will learn)
  15. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    If not for the British, you might well be speaking Spanish, Dutch, or maybe German. (Admittedly, if not for the Americans, we British might be speaking German.)

    We drive on the left side of the road, which is the right side for us.
  16. BillO

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    I like English. It is compact, extensible and versatile, and most of all, easy to understand. You can make the most horrendous grammatical and semantic errors in English and still be understood. For instance, one can ask:

    I mus like go sea beach. Can any dee-rect I self go head fo’ such?

    Most folks that speak English as their mother tongue would not have any trouble understanding that the person uttering these phrases wants directions to the beach. I would also bet that most fairly fluent English speakers would not have much trouble either.

    This is not so with other languages. French is a perfect example.

    Literal translations from English to French are rarely understood. Although literal translations from French to English are quite easily inferred. From my experience, literal translations from German or Irish Gaelic are also easily deciphered by English speakers, but certainly not the other way around.

    French, though, seems to be the least portable language. In my last job I worked for a US based international company. I learned to speak Canadian French and while I never had any trouble communicating with the folks in Quebec, when in France I was always asked to speak in English.

    Y’all git wha’ I’s sayin’?
  17. rogs

    Active Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I've have seen it said that, in the past, French was used -especially during the 19th century- as the international language of law, precisely because was so exact in it's meaning.

    English can be pretty ambiguous at times:

    Take the phrase: 'No - don't! - stop it!'..
    That's clearly an instruction to cease doing something.

    Take exactly the same words, but said with different inflexions: 'No, don't stop it' and it then means carry on doing something!

    Exactly the same words, in the same order. Exactly the opposite meaning.

    Not really a suitable phrase for a legal documnet perhaps, but easily understood in context, I would suggest?

    I wonder whether those folk who speak several languages find English easier than another of their 'non native' tongue to use?

    Say a native Spanish speaker can also speak French, German and English.

    I wonder which was easiest to learn?
  18. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Here are some differences between American English and British English.

    AE-armor BE-armour
    AE-center BE-centre
    AE-epaulet BE-epaulette

  19. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Spelling differences like AE analog / BE analogue are worth knowing about, but normally they don't cause any real confusion. Differences in meaning might, particularly when the senses are related. Here is an example:

    Colloquially, a speaker of British English might refer to dimensions in "mils", meaning millimetres.

    An AE speaker might use "mils" to mean thousandths of an inch (milli-inches).

    A British speaker might use the term "thou" for the same thing.

    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  20. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Hi Adjuster,

    I see you live in UK.

    "Holy Ghost" is used at UK, right? In the Philippines, we used "Holy Spirit" instead.

    Does "Holy Ghost" means "Holy Spirit"?