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American vs British spelling

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#11 · Posted: 9 Sep 2005 08:16
#12 · Posted: 9 Sep 2005 08:45
That list's pretty good. When I moved to the UK, I took along a copy of Lonely Planet's "British Phrasebook," which is a fun read. There's a "USA Phrasebook" for British readers too, and an "Australian Phrasebook."
#13 · Posted: 9 Sep 2005 09:39 · Edited by: jock123
Don’t be fooled by such lists, as they are often subjective to the author’s own dialect/ background, and can be quite misleading: I for one would be careful of using the expression “to knock up” to mean “to awaken” - it is probably used (rather crudely) more often to mean “to make pregnant”… And although I have heard British people use “booth”, I am not sure I have ever heard anyone use “kiosk” to refer to what is most commonly called a “’phone-box”…

It would be more useful to explain the distinctions that are being made, than giving hard and fast rules: I am confused for example by the fact that the “American” caravan is translated by the “British” convoy - as both words are synonyms in British English too. It would be more useful to say that caravan in English can mean a mobile-home or trailer. I’d also note that the Americans gave the world the song “Convoy”, and the British gave the world the song “Caravan” (as in the “convoy” of camels sense, not the “mobile home” one).
#14 · Posted: 9 Sep 2005 15:48
I know that even in Canada the use the British spelling in general.

It's a little closer to a hybrid here in Canada. I myself use U.S. spelling on almost all words, with a few exceptions (I won't write homophones like "storey" (Am. story) and "cheque" (Am. check) to make them ambiguous as is done in the U.S., but I do drop the 'u's in color, neighbor, etc.)

But -ize endings are the norm in Canada (I have a few pretentious friends who use -ise, but that's not really correct in this country and is usually more a sign of Anglophilia or anti-Americanism than anything); also, "program" is the norm over "programme," "jail" over "gaol," etc. I'd agree that most variants are British, but a good chunk aren't.

And of course, we tend to use most American vocabulary terms over their British counterparts (soccer over football, truck over lorry, rubber boots over Wellies, etc.)

Some of our newspapers (particularly where I come from in British Columbia) also use American spelling, because it saves them a lot of editing work when they grab articles off of wire services. BC is sort of the least 'Canadian' place in English Canada, so people don't mind as they probably would out where I live now in Ontario, which has many a jingoistic nationalist.
#15 · Posted: 15 Sep 2005 07:23
“to knock up” to mean “to awaken” - it is probably used (rather crudely) more often to mean “to make pregnant”…

i have never heard "to knock up" to mean "to awaken"! "to make pregnant" on the other hand...
it's as jock123 said, you really have to be careful with guides like that, because you could end up looking rather stupid!
#16 · Posted: 15 Sep 2005 07:33
Factories, such as the cotton mills in the north of England, used to employ “knocker-uppers” to go round the houses in the morning, and wake up their employees by rapping on windows with a stick. This is where “knock up” comes from; the sense of “get pregnant” probably has the knocker-upper being treated in the same way that milkmen used to be as a figure of fun with a reputation for seducing women while on their rounds - presumably they knew who was and who wasn’t at home.
#17 · Posted: 4 Jan 2006 19:20 · Edited by: Moderator
In English versions, 'jail' is spelled 'gael' but I don't know anyone in England who spells it like this.
#18 · Posted: 4 Jan 2006 20:41 · Edited by: Moderator
In English versions, 'jail' is spelled 'gael' but I don't know anyone in England who spells it like this.

Do you mean 'gaol'? That's the traditional English spelling which has fallen out of use over the past 50 years.

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