“Two countries divided by a common language”

One of the things we’re sometimes asked about is American versus British English and whether the former is slowly replacing the latter. Certainly it’s true to say that with the advent of the internet, much of the information we see online is in American English, but British English isn’t dead yet. We still hold on to a few British words: ‘boot’ not ‘trunk’, ‘pavement’ not ‘sidewalk’ and ‘mobile (phone)’ not ‘cell (phone)’. Speaking personally, I only get really annoyed by things I consider blatant misspellings, ‘esophagus’ instead of ‘oesophagus’ (honestly, if you can handle ‘ph’ making an ‘f’ sound, you can surely cope with a simple diphthong!).

The BBC have been running a series of articles comparing the two and seeing how different they are and why. The first part by Matthew Engel can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/14130942, followed by a rebuttal from Grant Barrett of A Way with Words here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14285853.

We’d love to hear your comments if you think we really are, as George Bernard Shaw is thought to have said, “Two countries divided by a common language.”