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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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Difference between American and British English?

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 31,139 mod
A Frenchman was speaking very good English, but gave the game away by referring to the lift as an elevator. He had spent time in the US.

This is a very interesting article on how in fact many words and expressions that we assume to be British or American English are in fact the other way round. And apparently the Americans are finding it fashionable to include the 'u' in words like colour!

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/10/english-language-british-american-book?CMP=fb_gu

There is a fun quiz too, testing you on your knowledge (guesses in my case). My result I'm ashamed to say, was 'poppycock.' How did you do?

Comments

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod
    Lots of differences are subtle. Whenever I am correcting posts on the main website I will always teach British English, though it is up to each individual whether they follow my teachings or not!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    I tend to leave the spellings @GemmaRowlands as both versions are correct.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod
    mheredge said:

    I tend to leave the spellings @GemmaRowlands as both versions are correct.

    True - but if for example people I am teaching plan to come and study in England, they will be expected to use British spelling in assignments and exams, so I always think it is better to learn as early as possible.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    Actually both ways of spelling are correct, so this is something I never correct as it is a personal preference @GemmaRowlands.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 827 OTT
    @mheredge


    Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

    Dahl referred to it as a lift in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Showing a great example of how these two words are exchangeable in English.




    elevator is from the latin ēlevātor


    jackelliot.over-blog.com/2018/04/the-earliest-known-reference-to-an-elevator-is-in-the-works-of-the-roman-architect-vitruvius-who-reported-that-archimedes-c.287-bc-c


    .
  • walterwalter Posts: 177 ✭✭
    There are many words which are have small and big differents in writting when we compare British and American language. For example autumn (British) and fall (America).. trousers (British) and pants (America).. Apart from that exist differences in writting, also there are differences in pronunciation. I better understand of America pronunciation than pronunciation of British. Cause for that is that I watch more america films and serias than films of British, and on that way I only listening how sounds america accent.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod
    mheredge said:

    Actually both ways of spelling are correct, so this is something I never correct as it is a personal preference @GemmaRowlands.

    I know they are correct, but when I was at university we lost marks for writing in US English. I'm not sure whether that it just my uni, or even just my course, or whether it's more widespread than that.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    I suppose it never came up when I was at university (everyone just wrote using British English) @GemmaRowlands. But I can see the point of trying to get everyone to be consistent. I know that I have problems with the travel agency I write and edit text for as I have to keep reminding myself American English is their preference.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    edited April 24
    While good style requires sticking to a certain variant of English this is beyond capabilities of many students of English as a foreign language, so an American word isn't a mistake in a Cambridge examination, at least I was told so. Still, people are usually taught a certain variant of English, so it's not a big problem.
  • VokVok Posts: 555 ✭✭✭
    Yes, you're right @Practical_Severard . You can use American spelling in your answer at Cambridge exams as long as you're consistent with the style chosen. Mixing British and American English is asking for trouble.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    edited April 24
    > @Vok said:
    > Yes, you're right @Practical_Severard . You can use American spelling in your answer at Cambridge exams as long as you're consistent with the style chosen. Mixing British and American English is asking for trouble.

    Perhaps they're more strict in the Proficiency, but I've never taken it, so I don't know.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod
    mheredge said:

    I suppose it never came up when I was at university (everyone just wrote using British English) @GemmaRowlands. But I can see the point of trying to get everyone to be consistent. I know that I have problems with the travel agency I write and edit text for as I have to keep reminding myself American English is their preference.

    Yeah, I have to be able to adapt quite quickly in my job as a writer and editor, as people do tend to have different preferences and I need to remember exactly which version I am writing/editing in!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    Consistency is the most important thing @Practical_Severard. I really have to make an effort to use American spelling as it I automatically use British spelling.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > Consistency is the most important thing @Practical_Severard. I really have to make an effort to use American spelling as it I automatically use British spelling.

    No seruaunt may serue to twei lordis; for ether he schal hate `the toon, and loue the tothir; ethir he schal drawe to `the toon, and schal dispise the tothir.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    edited April 25
    > @Practical_Severard said:
    > > @mheredge said:
    > > Consistency is the most important thing @Practical_Severard. I really have to make an effort to use American spelling as it I automatically use British spelling.
    >
    No seruaunt may serue to twei lordis; for ether he schal hate `the toon, and loue the tothir; ethir he schal drawe to `the toon, and schal dispise the tothir.

    Would this English be OK with the British professors? If the student were consistent, of course.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    I'm not sure if many other people would understand you if you use Middle English @Practical_Severard. It was one of the reasons why I wasn't particularly anxious top pursue studying medieval English history at university. Tudor English was far easier to read.

    At school we had to study the Miller's Tale in the Canterbury Tales. It wasn't the easiest text for 16 year olds to follow.

    His presse ycovered with a faldyng reed,
    And al above ther lay a gay sautrie
    On which he made a nyghtes melodie
    So swetely that al the chambre song,
    And Angelus ad virginem he song,
    And after that he song The Kynges Noote;
    Full often blessed was his myrie throte!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:

    > His presse ycovered with a faldyng reed,

    Is the 'press' a cupboard?
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod

    > @Practical_Severard said:

    > > @mheredge said:

    > > Consistency is the most important thing @Practical_Severard. I really have to make an effort to use American spelling as it I automatically use British spelling.

    >

    No seruaunt may serue to twei lordis; for ether he schal hate `the toon, and loue the tothir; ethir he schal drawe to `the toon, and schal dispise the tothir.



    Would this English be OK with the British professors? If the student were consistent, of course.

    Perhaps if you were studying a degree in Middle England (which I believe does exist) but I will be honest, I don't have a clue what the majority of that says.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    Difference translations suggest slightly different results @Practical_Severard, but yes, here the 'presse' means something like a closet (AmEng) or wardrobe.


    His presse ycovered with a faldyng reed;
    His linen press covered with a red woolen cloth; (clothes press is also suggested)

    And al above ther lay a gay sautrie,
    And all above there lay a fine psaltery,

    On which he made a-nyghtes melodie
    On which at night he made melody

    So swetely that all the chambre rong;
    So sweetly that all the room rang;

    And Angelus ad virginem he song;
    And "The Angel to the Virgin" he sang;

    And after that he song the Kynges Noote.
    And after that he sang the King's Tune.

    Ful often blessed was his myrie throte.
    Very often his merry throat was blessed.

    Did you never have to endure Chaucer at O'Level @GemmaRowlands?
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 827 OTT
    Pink flowers can also be used as a display of love at funerals

    jackelliot.over-blog.com/2018/04/pink-flowers.html

    Pink flowers have links to Cancer in the United Kingdom

    the colours of flowers can have differing meanings between USA and UK
    .
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    edited 7:17AM
    > @mheredge said:
    > Difference translations suggest slightly different results @Practical_Severard, but yes, here the 'presse' means something like a closet (AmEng) or wardrobe.
    >
    >
    This translation http://www.librarius.com/canttran/milltale/milltale079-112.htm translates this as simple 'press':

    His presse ycovered with a faldyng reed
    His press was covered with a cloth of red.

    So I checked the 'press' in the online Oxford dictionary:
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/press

    and found out: 6. Scottish Irish A large cupboard
    ‘The large kitchen is fitted with cherrywood presses, dark granite worktops and a tiled splashback.’
    Though there's the wardrobe meaning: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/clothespress

    noun 1. a receptacle for clothes, as a chest, wardrobe, or closet.

    So, in any case an element of furniture where one can put a small enough musical instrument as well as cover it with cloth. Before this time, I thought a cupboard was only for crockery!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    A chest however, is more like a trunk or large box made of wood @Practical_Severard. These are were very commonly used not only in the kitchen but anywhere in the home. So I am not entirely sure whether we are talking about a wardrobe or cupboard, or a large trunk.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 910 ✭✭✭
    edited 8:37AM
    > @mheredge said:
    > A chest however, is more like a trunk or large box made of wood @Practical_Severard. These are were very commonly used not only in the kitchen but anywhere in the home. So I am not entirely sure whether we are talking about a wardrobe or cupboard, or a large trunk.

    Well, I mean the upright item of furniture, shaped as a box, used to store things which rather stands on the floor than lies. Or, maybe, it's fixed to a wall. It may be a wardrobe, a cupboard or bookcase depending on what it's used to store.
    A chest, IMO is a box which isn't very high and we will say that it lies on the floor. It may have handles to carry. Such as the 'dead man's chest after which fifteen men are, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!'
    https://www.entertainmentearth.com/images/AUTOIMAGES/MRDS182lg.jpg
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,139 mod
    I don't think I have ever listened to or read the whole of the lyrics of this famous sea shanty before @Practical_Severard.



    Originally from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island (1883) where he only wrote the chorus, leaving the remainder of the song unwritten, and to the reader's imagination:

    Fifteen men on the dead man's chest—
    ...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
    Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
    ...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

    Another lyric in the novel, near its end:

    But one man of her crew alive,
    What put to sea with seventy-five.

    Other variations of the poem were printed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that though they claimed to be folklore, were just new extensions from Stevenson's original.

    One appeared in the Chicago Times-Herald named "Stevenson's Sailor Song" by an anonymous author and another version appeared in print as "Billy Bones's Fancy" which was an adaptation of the Times-Herald piece.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,749 mod

    Pink flowers can also be used as a display of love at funerals



    jackelliot.over-blog.com/2018/04/pink-flowers.html



    Pink flowers have links to Cancer in the United Kingdom



    the colours of flowers can have differing meanings between USA and UK

    .

    Pink is usually associated with breast cancer charities rather than cancer in general - but the link isn't so strong that you would automatically think "cancer" whenever you see a pink flower.
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