Friday, November 02, 2007

I decided to install the English dictionary in firefox today so I could get proper spelling corrections when writing emails and whatnot. So I fired up Firefox and browsed my way over to here to grab the English dictionary.

So it turns out that 'American English' is actually 'English' whereas 'British English' is what i wanted. Now, considering 'English' originated in Britain, why the hell do americans insist on referring to 'American English' as 'English' and referrring to English proper as 'British English'. British English is 'English'. You're the one's who created your own seperate spelling and dialect.

It's the equivalent of referring to 'Canadian French' as 'French' and referring to French proper as 'France French'. C'mon guys, you didn't invent it, stop trying to make it sound like ye did!

On other news, my macbook is in for repair for an unknown amount of time after it just stopped booting up. So i'll be MIA until it gets back to me. I'm still contactable by email should anyone need to.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

While English did come from Great Britain, it is no longer considered to be the default English. American English is much more prevalent around the world. Yes, you can consider British English to be the superior, but it is not held as a reference by most.

Alan said...

'American English is much more prevalent around the world.'

American English is much more prevalent around America. America != the world though.

British english is still considered the 'Default' English, or 'English proper' as i referred to it simply because that's where the language originated. You can't get a better claim than that really.

Michael Hutchinson said...

Anonymous: You're missing the point. It seems pretty silly that "English" with no qualifier is not the variant of the language used in England, no matter which is most widely used. Even so, there are a lot of other English dialects around the world, and not many of them were originally derived from en-us.

IMO we should take a leaf out of countless Sci-Fi books, standardise English spelling and grammar and rename it to "World Common Speech" or something, thus ending these arguments forever. I'd still use en-gb though :P

Anonymous said...

British English and American English are variants of the same language, "English". It is appropriate and correct to refer to either of them as "English", and neither variant is superior or more authoritative (if anything, American English is more conservative).

In the computer industry, people usually assume that "English" refers to "American English" because the computer industry has been dominated by American companies. American programmers aren't going to start labeling their language as "American English" and Britain's language as "English".

For language associated with products where Britain dominates the market, the assumptions may be reversed.

Anonymous said...

Is it English to spell "separate" "seperate"?

Valentin said...

The funny thing is: From a linguistic point of view en-US is more old-fashioned than the British English.

I believe this has something to do with the distance between England and the US so that new "developments" in England often didn't make their way to the US. (At least not that fast)

So if you base your decision of what is closer to the "historic" or "original" English, en-US would be "more" English :-D

Anonymous said...

Why is it so difficult for Americans to acknowledge that the language that they speak originated in England?

It strikes me and another attempt to purloin and claim something as American which isn't.

The language originated in England therefore the archetype of the language should be termed English and the U.S variant called U.S English.

Crikey, next the U.S president will be calling the Spanish language "Mexican" ;)

Hit Counter