Divided by a common language

It has long since been a bugbear of mine that the English language is being corrupted.

It all started many years ago when Microsoft decided that people from England spoke English (International). A marketing kick in the teeth for most of us in this glorious kingdom but nothing that dented the commercial success of the company.

Microsoft claimed English for the USA.

Perhaps they need to resit History-101 and look at the complex combination of Saxon, Norsk and Norman.

But their claim went unchallenged and here in England, our language has been designated as  English (International) ever since.

Over the last decade or so, as people have gone through their childhoods, more Americanisation of English has taken place.

I was recently asked to ‘fill a form out‘. A perfectly reasonable request if I had been in one of the fifty states, but I had to decline because in England completely the entries on a form is known as ‘filling in a form‘.

Another interloper is the ubiquitous ‘cellphone‘. In England a cellphone would be just that. A telephone inside a small, locked room in a prison, whereas on the street English people use mobile phones.

Whilst we’re talking about prisons, if you cross as Police Officer in England, you may end up in gaol, rather that a Cop sending you to jail.

Being an Englishman, I speak with my mouth in order to speak to someone, unless their was a mass, synchronised recitation of poetry where you could probably get away with speaking with others.

The Victoria Cross is our highest military award ‘For Valour‘ not ‘For Valor‘ and whilst we’re talking about the letter ‘U’ we also use in ‘colour‘.

Those rubber rings around each of the wheels on my car are most definitely ‘tyres‘, though if an activity is draining my energy, that’s when you could say I was beginning to ‘tire‘ and there would be nuts around the ‘centre‘ of the wheel.

The subtle differences go on, and getting the detail correct for the target audience is just one of the ways you identify a good writer, editor or content provider.


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