Let’s Take a Look at American English

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Happy 4th of July to our American subscribers!

Earlier in the week we shared a BBC article that explored whether English spelling should be made simpler. If you find yourself agreeing that English is more complicated than it needs to be, you’re not alone

Longtime readers of our blog might remember our article on the creation of Webster’s dictionary. In An Independent American Language, we wrote:

'With his dictionary and other spelling books, Noah Webster wanted to emphasise that now America was no longer under the rule of Great Britain, its language should also be independent. Many of the changes involved shortening words and changing odd-looking spellings to make them more phonetically straightforward – for example changing words ending in ‘-our’ to end in ‘-or’ (‘flavour’ vs. ‘flavour’) or words ending in ‘-re’ to end in ‘-er’ (‘theatre’ vs. ‘theatre’).'

There is no doubt that English is a worldwide language, with more people speaking it outside Great Britain than within it, and the BBC article suggests that some learners find American English easier than British English. 

Spellzone is compatible for students practising American English, British English, or both. Here are three of our favourite articles on American English from the archive: 

American English vs British English: Six Key Spelling Differences

The internet means choosing whether to use American spelling or English spelling no longer just depends on what country you live in. More and more people work with colleagues from all over the world and different institutes, organisations, and publications have different style guides. This means it is likely that you will have to change between American and British spelling every now and then. Here are the six key spelling differences between the two. 

Sixty American English Words and their British English Counterparts

It is not just spellings you need to watch out for! Some words have different meanings depending on whether they are used in an American English or a British English context. The word ‘pants’ in American English, for example, refers to an item of clothing which is used to cover the legs (i.e. trousers), whereas in British English the word refers to underwear. Here are sixty American English words compared to their British English counterparts.

American Idioms

Here in Britain, the influence of the American film and television industry has led to many so-called ‘Americanisms’ being adopted. This stretches to expressions as well as words and spellings. It is not uncommon for a Brit to metaphorically talk about ‘touching base’ or ‘striking out’ without ever actually having seen a ball game. In this article, we look at two idioms that originate in America and have become part of everyday language for English speakers across the world. 

04 Jul 2019
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