Thursday, March 22, 2007

I was having a nice day.........

..............in New York when I was asked by an American what language we spoke in England.
On the face of it that was a somewhat ridiculous question to ask, but maybe she had inadvertently made a point.
Perhaps our English and theirs shouldn't be compared. Perhaps we do speak different languages. Who's to say?
But OK, hands up, being English makes me very possessive about my mother tongue. English.
I am aware that I am in the minority when writing on Helium where most of the contributors are from across the pond - I can tell that quite simply from reading my fellow writers articles.
We share a fairly similar vocabulary, and our basic grammar rules are the same. The real differences are in the pronunciation , spelling and use of words. I can't help cringing when I hear tomato pronounced 'tom-A-to' and Van Gogh as 'Van Go' (and that's not even English!). I shudder when President Bush pronounces terror as 'terr', and I hear pasta pronounced 'par-ster'. (I know, that's not English either, but you get the point)
I get really angry when the Helium spell check tells me I can't spell 'colour' or 'programme'.
Bloody cheek!
But who's to say which English is the purist? Shakespeare would be horrified if he heard even our most eloquent and articulate orator speaking.
We've added words to our language from America which our parents would be baffled by! And I'm certain the opposite applies to.
But for the time being I flatly refuse to say 'Have a nice day' or 'Oh - my - God'!

1 comment:

  1. I've always been partial towards the English version of English, if that even makes sense. It is much like English food vs. French cuisine, America's English is just not sexy, nor do I find it appealing.

    I have neighbors of which the husband is from London England. I just love hearing him chatter away and he DOES chatter! I think for the most part, he too likes to hear himself talk.

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