Difference between AE & BE - 2012 History of the English

Report
Differences between
American English
&
British English
Lily Chang 97501015
English Department
Outline
A. Differences between A.E. and B.E.
• Spelling
• Vocabulary
• Grammar
• Pronunciation & accent
• Speech
B. Backgrounds leading to the differences
• Geographic separation
• National identity
• Spelling reform
C. Conclusion & future development
Differences between A.E. and B.E.
“The Americans are
identical to the British
in all respects except,
of course, language .”
~ Oscar Wilde
Differences: spelling
 Examples (A.E. / B.E.):
• color / colour
• traveling / travelling
• theater / theatre
• check / cheque
• tire / tyre
 AE is more economically and phonetically spelled.
 Exception (A.E. / B.E.): skillful / skilful
Differences: vocabulary -1
 Examples:
• potato chips / crisps
• police patrol car / panda car
• gasoline (gas) / petrol
• diaper / nappy
• elevator / lift
• intercity bus / coach
• first floor / ground floor • eraser / rubber
Differences: vocabulary -2
 The differences can sometimes cause
embarrassment and even misunderstanding!
Examples:
• “pants” – “trousers” in A.E.
BUT “underwear” in B.E.
• Date: A.E.12/21/2012
B.E.21/12/2012
• Number: “billion”
A.E. a thousand million
B.E. a million million
Expiration: 9/1/2013
Differences: vocabulary -3
 Slangs & Dialogue
restaurant to
boy called Tom went to a noshery
One day, a annoying
blighter
have a nosh-up
with his parents because the nosh
food there
meal
was fantastic. Because he liked to have banger
sausage very much,
he argued to his parents.
sausage in this noshery!”
restaurant
Tom: “I’d like to try all kinds of banger
nonsense It’s too expensive to do that!”
Parents: “Don’t talk balls!
fair
Tom: “Why not? It’s not cricket!
My friend, Tony, has tried
all of them! Not cricket,
not cricket,
not cricket!!!”
fair
fair
fair
annoyed
Shut up
Parents: “(narked)
Belt
up! I’ve heard that, too. But do
you know that contributed a lot to his weight, too?”
Differences: grammar
 Use of subjunctive
 AE: It is important that she be told.
 BE: It is important that she is told.
 Quotation marks
 AE: “Do you want to have lunch together in the
new cafe called ‘Light House’ with me?”
 BE: ‘Do you want to have lunch together in the
new café called “Light House” with me?’
Differences: pronunciation & accent -1
 Stress:
 stress on different syllables (A.E. / B.E.):
 garage / garage
 advertisement / advertisement
 stress on different vowels (A.E. / B.E.):
 vase [veɪs]/ vase [vɑːz]
 leisure [ˈliː.ʒɚ] / leisure [ˈleʒ.ər]
 Retroflex (A.E. / B.E.): clerk [klɑːk] / clerk [klɜːrk]
Differences: pronunciation & accent -1
 Accent:” How British People Sound to Americans”
Differences: speech
 A.E.: more general
B.E.: care about nuances of meaning
• Reason: British people’s emphasis on social status
 A.E.: more hyperbole
B.E.: more understatement
• Example: A.E. grab some food
• Reason: Americans are more influenced by exaggerations
of the media.
 A.E.: disobey grammatical rules more often
B.E.: obey grammatical rules
• Example: AE: “author” a book
Backgrounds leading to the
differences
Background: geographic separation
 The populations in the US and UK are divided.
 Americans and British people have interactions
with different people.
Noah Webster: “These
causes will produce in the
course of time a language
in North America as
different from the future
language of England as the
modern Dutch, Danish and
Swedish are from German
or from one another.”
Background: National identity
 Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language”
• Purpose: to have cultural independence from Britain
• Principle: Words should be spelled more like they sound.
• Reform of English spelling: 10 classes
 "-our" to "-or" (colour  color)
 "-re" to "-er" (centre  center)
 dropping final "k" (publick  public)
 changing "-ence" to "-ense" (defence  defense)
 use single "l" in inflected forms (travelled  traveled)
 use double "l" in some words (fulfil  fulfill)
 "-or" to "-er" (visiter  visitor)
 drop final "e" (axe  ax)
 use single "f" at the end (plaintiff  plaintif) ~ failed
 "-ise" to "-ize" (realise  realize)
Background: spelling reform
 Background: start from the mid-1870s
• The American Philosophical Association adopted 11
new spellings.
• ar, catalog, definit, gard, giv, hav, infinit, liv, tho,
thru, wisht
 Advocators:
• Noah Webster
• Benjamin Franklin
• Andrew Carnegie
• President Theodore
Roosevelt
Background: spelling reform
 Opposition to the spelling reform
Mark Twain: “For example, in Year 1 that useless letter c would be
dropped to be replased either by k or s, and likewise x would no longer
be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which c would be retained
would be the ch formation, which will be dealt with later.
Year 2 might reform w spelling, so that which and one would take the
same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish y replasing it
with i and Iear 4 might fiks the g/j anomali wonse and for all.
Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with
Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or
so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist
konsonants.
Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi
ridandant letez c,y and x — bai now jast a memori in the maindz
ov ould doderez — tu riplaisch, sh, and th rispektivli.
Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev
a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.”
Conclusion
Conclusion
 Difference: spelling, vocabulary, grammar,
pronunciation & accent, speech
• Be careful of the differences when talking with English
speakers.
 Future development: Difference between A.E. and
B.E. will decrease.
• Increasing transatlantic travel and trade
• Mass media: TV, Hollywood films
• American GIs during WWII
References
•
http://iteslj.org/Articles/Barton-UK-USwords.html
•
http://www.bu.edu/mfeldman/Slang/glossary.html
•
http://www.davidappleyard.com/english/britishglossary/N.ht
m
•
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/regionalisms.aspx
•
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/british-americanenglish-differences.aspx
•
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/through-threwthru.aspx
•
http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/easy/aebe.htm#8
•
http://www.projectbritain.com/langdiffer.htm
•
http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/spell/histsp.html
•
http://history1900s.about.com/od/1900s/qt/trspelling.htm
•
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Spelling_Board
•
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12qqU9wkzzY
Thank you for your attention!

similar documents