Ugly Americanisms: Two Countries Divided By A Language

In my ongoing love affair with all things British, I sometimes come up against things that are less loveable, such as the crankypants insularity that is a hallmark of the English national personality. I do understand, really I do; references to our popular culture, fast-food cuisine and security-theater politics are everywhere in the UK where there’s a TV, a McDonalds, or an international airport.

I chuckled at this story, which quotes several peevish readers complaining about the use of American idiom and slang in the Guardian, a left-leaning newspaper. For the record, “clatch” is the German word “klatsch,” we currently spell it “rambunctious” now (note spelling differs from the original one), and “schlep” is Yiddish. Our shared language is as endlessly diverting as it is diverse.

"Can you please ask your journalists and feature writers not to use American English in their articles? Whilst I appreciate that many are either American themselves, or have spent a long time in the USA, they are nevertheless writing for a British readership. Recent examples include clatch, rumbunctious, drag for High Street, dweebish and schlep. I find myself constantly having to reach for the dictionary to find out what your journalists are saying when I am reading the Guardian or Observer because of these ugly and unnecessary Americanisms."

via Lickety splits: two nations divided by a common language | Mind your language | Media | guardian.co.uk.

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One thought on “Ugly Americanisms: Two Countries Divided By A Language

  1. The only time I get really annoyed about the Americanisation of the Queen’s English is when it lessens the expressiveness of words and phrases. To cite a recent example, “24/7” removes all the exaggerated sense of time from the phrase “twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.”

    You can’t stop the Americanisation of the world so what I do, through my blog, is try to expand my American friends’ vocabulary with some good, old English slang. I am waiting for the first usage of the term “bog standard” in a Hollywood blockbuster :-)

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