Americans vs. Brits...Watch your language.

Americans vs. Brits...Watch your language.

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Everything goes.
Many Americans, many Brits on GF.

As much as many of us are willing to give Wiki's opinion, or other scholarly opinions about it, I think it'll be more interesting if we give our opinions and reasons. I know...fine line.

But it'll make this a colourful, sorry colorful discussion.

Is it just English or are they two different languages? Why?


Lion Rampant
Academically, I couldn't make an argument justifying the classification of 'American' as a distinct language. Only idioms and a few minor spelling differences separate our English from the native variety. Anecdotally, however, I can see the question as legitimate, as I once told a 14-year-old Brit e-friend who was in the habit of self-injury that I was going to "spank her on the fanny" if she didn't stop. Imagine my supreme embarrassment when I subsequently discovered that the slang term "fanny" is interchangeable in the UK with "minge" and not with "bum." If nothing else, some words should come with warning labels about their use in trans-Atlantic conversation.


The Hierophant
For the most part, they're one language, but there are definately different sayings which are particular to a certain area of each country.

For instance:
"Goosing the ol' tom cat" vs. "Fuck all"


Endangered Species
One language two uses.

American is a more traditional form of English than English is. If you compare what both parties speak now with the language 200 years ago then American is closer to the original form.

English as a basic language is one of the simplest in the world mostly due to its complexity as a complete language, often there are a multitude of different ways to say the same thing built around a few key components, learn the components and you can speak the language, the margin for error is small. This is one of the reasons it is so popular as a common language for trade and commerce, it does not take a genius to speak the most broken form, with only a couple of 1000 words you can use the language to an acceptable level.

However;To master the language on a complete scale with all its complex grammar, pronunciations, vocabulary, context and meanings is an entirely different task and it is in these departments the differences arise that separate US English from UK English.

Think about it in terms of Spanish as well.
Spain spanish is vastly different from Mexican spanish and Chilean spanish is different from both!
American english and British english are different, and I think that they are different enough to be called different languages, but not on the scale that they could be taught in schools as such.


Lion Rampant
eg. fag and cigarette? :)
Which reminds me, I had to change a forum username once when I found out what "slightly bent" means across the pond.

So in your opinion, a spelling as you mention, does not make them two different languages.
In my opinion. It seems to me that if spelling variants were necessarily indicative of different languages, then "canceled" and "cancelled" would meet that criterion and it could be argued that, by virtue of individual preferences, virtually nobody on Earth used the exact same language as any other person.


Everything goes.

For the most part, they're one language...
So are you voting that they're 1 or 2? Because I understand that you're saying that the subset between the two is huge, but would you tell someone in, Japan for example that you 'speak' English but 'write' American?

...For instance:
"Goosing the ol' tom cat" vs. "Fuck all"
:lol: Haven't the ol' goose in a while!

Btw Hiei, like the new avatar. Was in freakin' LOVE with the last one!

One language two uses.
American is a more traditional form of English than English is....
it is in these departments the differences arise that separate US English from UK English.
I understand the rest of your explanation, but I'm a little confused about these three comments. So then are there 2 TYPES of English [ref: US English and UK English] or is it 'one language', even though it has 'two uses'.

psst. please vote. I'm actually really interested in the result. :nod:


The Hierophant
I voted 2. Basically the same, but not. Subtle differences.

And if I could find the exact same picture of the ouroboros only a better quality that small, I'd probably have that one. Unless you meant the Zsasz one.