Spot On! - Trans-Atlantic Linguistics
A recent article at BBC News offers a different take on the popular “ugh Americans are ruining proper English” story. Cordelia Hebblethwaite, the BBC reporter with perhaps the most English-sounding name we’ve ever read, speaks to linguists and editors about the mutual exchange of British and American words in both countries. For example:
There is not so much an “on and off switch” between versions of English… but more of a continuum - with the same words in existence in different places, but just used at different frequencies.
Click through to the article for more examples—ginger (thanks, Ron Weasley!), spot on, sell-by date, twee, bespoke—and some lovely charts.
Meanwhile, Geoff Nunberg at Language Log (the sputtering linguist from the top paragraph) has pointed out that he was not “quivering with revulsion” — academic linguists rarely are — and also clarified some of his points regarding Romney’s use of “spot on.”
And tell us, Wonkistanis: What Britishisms, Americanisms, or other regionalisms do you use most often?
- letstrythistumblrthingout likes this
- emiliacontramundum likes this
- willrahjuh likes this
- catherineaddington reblogged this from wonkistan and added:
- pflugerville likes this
- wonkistan posted this