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  1. #1
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    Variants of English

    I am referring to American and British English. From what I understand, the difference between American and British English is greater than the difference between many European languages (such as Serbian and Croatian). So why are the European languages considered separate, but the variants of English aren't? Is it just because instead of calling the languages "English" and "American", we called them "British English" and "American English"?

    Wouldn't it solve many of the arguments between Americans and Brits if we just agreed they're two similar, but different languages?

    I know there are other versions of English, but these are the main two. Humour for one has issues translated into one, I mean Americans simply aren't funny.

  2. #2
    Lord of Swine
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    they are the same language with minor variants in spelling and pronunciation.
    The only people who emphasize a difference are Americans.

  3. #3
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    Would Indian English be included within this variant?

  4. #4
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    The English language simply developed two distinct strands when the colonists established roots in the new world. The inluences and needs were very different in both countries.
    Apart from minor irritations on both sides, it really is no big deal, and Danny DeVito, lovely chap that he is, would never get a job in UK selling aluminum siding, whatever that is.
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

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    I understand how the differences in our common language came about. I am still in the dark as to why the seppos lost all sense of humour in the transition.

  6. #6
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    Yes, I'm mystified at how Steve Martin could have possibly thought that his remake of The Pink Panther could have been even slightly funny. At all.

    There is a huge disconnection there. Oops...I meant "disconnect".

  7. #7
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    This is the kind of trivial shit brits worry about. Get a life Fohk.
    Preferably someplace other than Teakdoor.
    Last edited by Humbert; 28-10-2014 at 06:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fohk View Post
    I mean Americans simply aren't funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    This is the kind of trivial shit brits worry about.
    Do you people honestly not realise how moronic and juvenile it is to make these gormless sweeping statement about entire nations of people?

    I'm British and I think Americans can be just as funny as any other people, and I certainly don't worry about the stuff mentioned in the OP.

    If both your statements are wrong for me, what are the chances that they're just simply wrong?

    Yep it's 100% isn't it.

  9. #9
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    ^Well you have to wonder Fozzy, this same topic has come up on Teakdoor countless times and it's always a brit who brings it up. It's always some trivial national obsession. Americans really don't give a fig if Brits spell and pronounce Aluminum differently.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    Americans really don't give a fig if Brits spell and pronounce Aluminum differently.
    And nor do most Brits mate, I assure you. Even if twenty British people had made the exact same OP over the years, it still wouldn't logically mean it's a "British thing". You know how many of us there are right?
    Last edited by Fozzy; 28-10-2014 at 07:14 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzy
    it still wouldn't logically mean it's a "British thing". You know how many of us their are right?
    Yes, I made a generalization to make a point. These kind of stupid threads just annoy me. Sorry if I offended you and your bretheren with my sweeping indictment.

  12. #12
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    ^ No offence taken. Now if it's all the same to you I have an appointment to get to. My rotten teeth won't pull themselves out you know.

  13. #13
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    Who cares about pronunciation ? Not me, back in the UK there was this car rental advert featuring a stereotypical big brash yank and his reserved english colleague. Who during the advert argued the difference between aluminium and aluminum. I thought it was funny anyway. The wife speaks fluent english with an english accent apart from one word. For some reason "photographer" sounds so dammed American.
    SCROTUM PASS ME PISTOL

  14. #14
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    I think the Aussie variation of English is the best. Remember in my youth watching home and away and Cathy Godbold saying "I like spunk" in reference to a friend commenting on the personality of spunky chap. Gave me the right horn.

    American English is just English with poor spelling. No big problem and in many ways the changes make sense. A veritable 18th century SMS/Text speech of a language.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  15. #15
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    Not to take a piss on anyone in particular.

    I sat on a bar stool staring ahead listening to a stranger speak to me for 15 minutes before I finished my beer. He was laughing and smiling and seemed to be having an enjoyable conversation with himself.
    As I didn't have a clue as to what he was saying I motioned to the barkeep that I was ready to move on. ('Check bin'.)
    I figured that possibly the fellow on the next stool had two too many.
    I nodded to the bartender and said , "Make sure he gets home okay."

    The bartender smiled and said , "Don't mind him , he's a Geordie."

    In all the years since when I meet someone from the North with a heavy inflection or anyone with a very heavy Scottish brogue - I smile , pat them on the back and say , "Don't mind me. I'm deaf. Have a good day."

  16. #16
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    ^ a good friend of mine back in the UK is a Geordie. Can't see how we can possibly criticise the yanks when we have Geordie's

    ^^ agh yes home and away or neighbours. Some slip of a girl telling her friends that a male classmate has a lot of spunk.

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    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    This is the usual nonsense American trolling thread.

    There is English, Singlish from Singapore, Malenglish from Malaysia etc. what Indian English is called I don't know but their diction is usually perfect, Austrailian English which is pronunciation not spelling, Kiwi English, South African English etc.. Most don't have an "official" name. Only Americans seem to want their language made official.

    I suppose the is American English but like many people's who emigrated the country and the language they left has moved on but they are still rooted in the period that they left. So in some ways American English is Old English.

    Then there is Canadian English some times they drop the Y in tires but keep the U in colour.

    You don't see many forum threads talking about the difference between Swiss German and real German or Namibian German and real German.

    Only American's seem fascinated by the language they don't speak or spell properly.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
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  18. #18
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    Well then, it seems the basis of my question was false. I've also heard it said about German and Luxembourgish, Swedish and Norwegian, but I'm probably giving too much weight to things "I've heard said".

    As for calling British and American the main forms of English, I was mainly meaning that they're the ones I usually see referred to/name dropped the most in disputes about spelling, grammar, etc.

    If you considered all the forms of English that are as different from each other as standard British and standard American as separate languages, there would probably be dozens of them.

  19. #19
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    Most software will let you specify which language you want to download in. American English is the most popular because there are about 300m of them. Must be at least 20 other English options. The choice is provided because users feel most comfortable with what they grew up with, or are used to. For the likes of software downloads it's an additional sales tool, nothing more.

  20. #20
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Stupid thread.

  21. #21
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    Then move on.

  22. #22
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    I think it could be a very good thread (could being the operative word here). I view the way people speak English (as their first language) in other countries very interesting. Much like accents in the UK, they were brought about by a multitude of internal and external influences and its what those influences are, that is most interesting.
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  23. #23
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fohk
    the difference between American and British English is greater than the difference between many European languages (such as Serbian and Croatian)
    Really?

    Serbian:
    Сва људска бића рађају се слободна и једнака у достојанству и правима. Она су обдарена разумом и свешћу и треба једни према другима да поступају у духу братства.

    Croatian:
    Poslije našeg razgovora sa učiteljem

    It looks fairly self-explanatory

    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus
    I think the Aussie variation of English is the best
    Thanks, mate!! Nice to hear a compliment about the fair Aussie language!

    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus
    home and away and Cathy Godbold saying "I like spunk"
    Oh . . . bastard!

  24. #24
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    This is not a bashing anyone thread, its about language as I am also confounded at times. Focus on the topic.

  25. #25
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    The boundaries between languages is ultimately fuzzy. English and German are separate languages, but it wouldn't take as much effort to hammer out some sort of trade language as it would between English and Russian. I can't understand everyone who ostensible speaks "English", but there are some people who can easily understand both me and them.

    There's an old line that says "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy", used to joke about why British English and American English are the same while Cantonese and Mandarin are both "Chinese". While certainly true to a degree, there's a lot more complexity than that, and you could spend quite a lot of effort just defining what a "language" is.

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