Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

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Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
I arrived at this site (as, I guess, have other recent posters) thanks to a link on the BBC News site in an article entitled

"Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English"

I had no idea that the traffic in language between our two great nations was so two-way!

Does anyone have any further examples of 'Britishisation'?
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

MSinclair
Postrophe, hi

I found a blog yesterday with more while browsing (it was a bit tongue in cheek though).  Ill see if I can find it...
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

MSinclair
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
Thanks for the link

Fascinating!
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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Postrophe - I'm not sure whether you're American or British...If you're British, you'll probably know, definitively, the answer to my question...  In recent years, I've noticed that it's been common habit to say "So and so graduated college."  Everyone says that now.  Years ago, we routinely used a preposition in that sentence: "So and so graduated FROM college."  I *think* the British have always left out the preposition, and I have assumed, over the years, that we Americans were imitating the British when we did that.  Do you (or anyone else on the Chat Forum) know whether the British do, indeed, leave the preposition out of that sentence?
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
Hi Zella



Generally, we (Brits )  will leave out the preposition also, as it is understood that it is from a university. Eg "Our Jimmy graduated this year"

We will only use the from if we are naming a specific institution, like Oxford, Cambridge or Bristol. Eg "Martha graduated from Loughborough in 2004"

One cannot graduate from a secondary school or any other non-degree level establishment.

Strictly speaking, of course, it is the institution which graduates (verb transitive) the candidate, which would make graduate (verb intransitve)from correct... but don't let's split hairs!

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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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In reply to this post by MSinclair
Good article, MSinclair.
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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In reply to this post by postrophe
Ah!  You've solved the mystery for me, postrophe--and confirmed my suspicion.  Dropping the preposition is a Britishism!  And indeed, the transitive/intransitive issue lies at the heart of the matter and is why such sentences, sans preposition, sound so odd to me!
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
Indeed; not only odd but plain wrong!

....rather like that one rather horrible piece of Americo-speak "I'm good", when asked "How are you?"

Adverb, please! - lest we should think you are blowing your own trumpet  
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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This post was updated on .
Oh, dear..."I'm good"...  (shudder)   The use of "I'm good" is similar yet different.  Only the uninformed use "I'm good" in lieu of "I'm well," whereas the educated have embraced the incorrect "graduated college."  Interesting how both groups ignore correct grammar--but only the group holding a diploma seem to get away with it!  Perhaps knowing the rules and choosing to break them is different from not knowing the rules and breaking them?
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Sven
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Limey
I was on the London Underground last week and overheard some Americans (tourists/students? - not too sure as nobody talks to each other on the Tube!). They called a small group of boisterous kids "buggers" and "chavs" which everyone thought was hilarious! Nobody expected them to know these words, let alone use them so confidently.

Great site, by the way. Ta very much!
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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Limey: I think you've offered proof that those words have indeed transplanted themselves on this side of the pond.  I trust you Britons are busily coining new words as I type so that you can stay one step ahead of the Anglophiles!  (Do you know of any Americanisms that have caught on in Britain??)
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

postrophe
Yes, here's one: "Can I get...?" sadly replacing "May I have...?"
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Limey
Ah, you took the words right out of my mouth postrophe! I think there are so many common usages in slang and everyday sayings that it's hard to tell which is American and which is English sometimes - candy, crazy, the fall, groovy (a Shakespeare word) and sidewalk which are all apparently from this side of the pond but are now so uncommon that we think of them as American.
I'm sure there are a few words and phrases that are the reverse of this.

Zella, I love the idea of deliberately making up new words to keep ahead of Anglophiles, but staying one step ahead of such obviously intelligent people is very difficult!!
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Limey
In reply to this post by Zella
Oh yeh, here's one: "Jus sayin' is all".
It's almost as common in some parts as the ubiquitous "like".


Here's a question: Do you think Americans are generally glad of the cultural influence they are having around the world?

Maybe there's a blog post theme in there somewhere?!
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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Dear Limey: No, I wouldn't say that Americans are "glad" of the cultural influence we inflict on the world.  (Yes, "inflict" is a loaded term!)  I think "clueless" may be the better word.  I would say that the average American is unaware of the extent of our cultural influence abroad.  One must be aware of what's happening in other countries in order to recognize such influence, and the average American shows little interest in what goes on outside our borders.  Of course, there is a subset of Americans who look outward and show keen interest in other countries, but I think the subset that is insular and focused solely on the US is considerably larger.
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Zella
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In reply to this post by postrophe
postrophe: I'm not sure that I would call "Can I get..." (or "I am good") examples of Americanisms, for both of those are considered sloppy grammar here, just as they are in your country.  That said, I've certainly heard both said on our shores!  I've lived all over the US--the East Coast, West Coast, northern US, the West, and the Midwest (though never in the deep South)--but I think it's fair to say that in areas where educational levels are higher, one tends to hear better use of English, and where standards are lower, worse use.  
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Re: Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English

Limey
In reply to this post by Zella
Hi Zella,
"Inflict" certainly is an interesting choice of word!
I've heard lots of Americans make the same point and bemoan their compatriots' supposed lack of interest in the outside world.
To me, it's not such a big deal; the USA is a very big country and is so diverse and boasts so many cultural and historical claims to fame that it's no wonder there's a feeling that the whole world is within its own boundaries to some extent. But then, I'm not American so maybe I can't gauge it as accurately as others!
Language is a good example of America's cultural influence, of course, as a myriad of new words, phrases and speech patterns have evolved, which I think has enriched us all.
I suppose it comes down to "good" cultural influence and "bad" cultural influence really doesn't it?
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