Monday, April 5, 2010

American v. British English

Ironically, I knew all of the British words, but missed most of the American ones. My age is showing.


  1. Hi Mary, we haven't had a good ,"chin wag," for a while.

    I'm ,"chuffed to bits," to tell you that after a short break from fom my Blog I'm working on a new entry.It is about Jane Austen and the quintissential English cup of tea, no less.
    The break hasn't been planned. I have had so many other things to do. Don't dash over to my site just yet, I have only managed to make a few notes and gather a couple of photographs. It is still to be written.

    Glad to hear you are working on a new novel. I was told once, that like an athlete who should train and train, the best way to be a writer is to write and write and write. Write everything and anything, my A'level English teacher told me.I'm not sure about,anything, though. There are a few things that come to mind I shouldn't write down and I'm not sure I could bring myself to write about anyway.

    That thing about dentistry in England is not totally true by the way. OK our teeth may not be glistening white gloss painted,"jobs," but they are healthy and well looked after, mostly by the National Health Service.Isn't your president trying to set up a similar health system? Evrybody would benefit. Sorry, must get off politics. I'm a little left wing.

    Anyway,"bottoms up," as we say over here. I noticed Hugh Lawrie wasn't asked to explain that one.

    All the best,

  2. Over the years, I've watched a lot of British television, and I've put a few in my speech. I once told my sister it was "early days," and she said, "What the heck does that mean?" I pronounced patriotic as "pat-riotic" instead of "pa-triotic," and she pushed her nose up like I was a snob. I love these differences. I am really partial to Irish and Scottish accents.

    Could you explain A levels? I've read about them in some biographies. Is it like an honors class?

    As for being left wing, things are quite testy here in the States right now. Let me put it this way, you and I would get along just fine. Cheers!

    P.S. Looking forward to reading your blog. It's always entertaining.

  3. Hi Mary,
    Keep practicing the English accent and phraseology.

    A'levels are the courses and exams that get us into university. They are studied after the age of 16 and are a two year course. They are quite a high standard, probably first year university standard.We take about three or four of them over two years. They are subject specific. For instance I took art based A'levels , history, english literature and geography. Many take maths and science A'levels. They are a little like the international bacalauriette although that covers more subjects and each subject to a lesser breadth than A'levels. The "bac" is probbaly a more rounded approach.
    We also do lots of diplomas covering many subjects to get into university these days. I think education has become more flexible and there are many routes to university and a degree now. Universities have doubled in number during the Labour government years.Where a town or city might have had one university, most sizeable towns have two now. The labour government had a policy of education, education, education. They poured literally billions and billions of pounds into education like there was no tomorrow. We are nearly 50% of 18 year olds getting a university place nowadays.

    The idea was and is to make a well educated population that can compete anywhere in the world.

    By the way I've posted my article about Jane and tea.

    All the best,