The use of the English language on either side of the Atlantic

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Richard Channing, May 4, 2018.

  1. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Seeing as we are an international forum with many US and European members, I thought it might be fun to discuss some of the differences between the uses of the English language on either side of the Atlantic. I guess I'm mostly talking about UK/Irish English vs. US/Canadian English (and also the differences within each of those categories) but also it might be interesting to know which of those our members who speak English as a second language most identify with. And if any Australians wanna have their say that's fine too!

    So anything from slang, to commonly used phrases, to ways of pronouncing words or anything else you can think of.
     
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  2. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    When I went to America as a 10 year old everyone pointed out my use of the word "wee" in front of everything. I wanted a "wee cheeseburger and wee coke" we were going for a "wee drive" having a "wee nap" I never noticed that until I went there. It's very Irish English thing.
     
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  3. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Actually I think it's a kind of Northern Ireland/Scotland thing. I guess things just get more 'wee' the further north you go. :D

    Like I only live half an hour south of the border and nobody says 'wee' here, but almost as soon as you cross the border everyone's saying it!
     
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  4. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    Yes I guess it is more Northern Irish and Scottish. Now I sometimes catch myself doing it and cringe a little then try and stop doing it, but I cant help myself.
     
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  5. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I think you might have a wee addiction. :D
     
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  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    It's a wee bit of a problem, a wee bit embarrassing.
     
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  7. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    A couple of things. I notice how American's are often 'gonna go ahead and' do stuff. This is very common among customer service telephone people "I'm gonna go ahead and transfer you to our complaints department" for example, and also on youtube tutorials.

    I also notice how this side of the Atlantic we tend to pronounce Tuesday and student, Chewsday and stewdent whereas in the US it's Toosday and stoodent.
     
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  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    We go to hospital. Americans go to the hospital.

    We go home for Christmas. Americans go home for the holidays.

    (I'm just going by what I've seen on the telly, you understand.)

    Oh and a dialect coach once told me that if I wanted to sound more American, to stress the first word in a two word phrase. Like we would only say peanut butter whereas Americans sometimes say peanut butter. And she played me a tape of Martin Scorsese saying his favourite film is The Red Shoes whereas we would automatically say The Red Shoes.

    Gloria Estefan = Gloria Estefan. TV = TV. "Estefan, Estefan, TV, TV -- Let's switch the whole thing off .."
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I feel the need to share a problem...


    I'm quite nervous about using the word "ate" in conversation (as in "I ate my breakfast").

    I know the correct RP rhymes with "met" (that's how Clement Freud said it, for goodness' sake), and that's how I've always said it. But so many people now say "eight" (many of them hypercorrecting, thinking it sounds posher) that I'm in a minority. Now I fear people will think I'm common, lazy or incorrect for saying it properly.

    I have a similar relationship with "schedule", "often" and "patriotic", but one problem at a time.
     
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  10. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Hmmm, I wish I could be more supportive but I also thought "eight" was the correct pronunciation, and that "met" maybe was a slightly more common way of saying it.
    But if what you're saying is true and "met" is the proper way to say it then I guess that makes me the common one. :sad:
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  11. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    We say "one hundred and fifty" whereas Americans say "one hundred fifty".
     
  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    I go to the hospital.... Am I American?
     
  13. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Maybe a wee bit.
     
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  14. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    It's Dynasty's fault, or is it Dine-esty?
     
  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Ahh, so again maybe that's about the stress. America emphasises the first syllable (DY-nasty) and we emphasise the last (Dynas-TY).
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I think everyone says Knots Landing. I'm less clear on Falcon Crest and Falcon Crest. And then there's Falcon and Folcon ...
     
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  17. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Well you raise a very interesting question. Being a US show I'd generally be inclined to go with their pronunciation as the definitive one, but considering many of the characters where American but their siblings were British, and many core characters started out as American but then became British, or vice versa, I think the jury is out on who gets to have the definitive pronunciation.
     
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  18. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    I say it the American way... See I must be American, at least a wee bit.
     
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  19. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    We in the US say Merry Christmas whereas I assume in the UK you say Happy Christmas?

    I've been having this same conversations with @Long Lashes in another thread about our shared language and it's fun differences. :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  20. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    I say both, but usually I go with Merry.
     
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