Britishisms Invade American English

British and American EnglishStaunch defenders of the English language often make a great deal of fuss about American phrases which are creeping into regular use in publications and conversations alike. What people forget is that this goes both ways – and some Americans are getting fed up with British English invading them in return!

"Spot on - it's just ludicrous!" says Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California at Berkeley and firm believer in the Atlantic divide.

"You are just impersonating an Englishman when you say spot on. Will do - I hear that from Americans. That should be put into quarantine," he adds.

Not everyone in America objects to the closing distances between the two continents, however. Ben Yagoda, professor of English at the University of Delaware, says that spotting English turns of phrase is like birdwatching for him: “If I find an American saying one, it makes my day." Yagoda even has a blog which is dedicated to spotting the use of very British terms in everyday American English, and since setting it up last year he has over 150 already – some even from speeches by President Obama. He also notes down changes in pronounciation, such as the “sort of London glottal stop” sometimes used by his students when they drop the T in words like important or Manhattan.

The controversy and linguistic arguments aside, this sort of dialect cross over shows just how important it is to make sure you get a complete set of everyday vocabulary when learning English, regardless of where you learn it. That’s why at Concorde we always make sure our students have ample opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the culture and society of Great Britain so they can gain the language skills to cope easily in the real world as well as in the classroom.

For more information on our range of English classes call today on 0044 1227 451035, or if you are an English graduate looking for a kick start in a new career as an English language teacher then get in touch now to ask about our fantastic Cambridge CELTA courses which now have funding available for 2012/13.

Published by: Concorde International

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