greenkrokodilla (greenkrokodilla) wrote in linguaphiles,

How does American sound to the British ear?

Not being a native speaker, I obviously cannot authoritatively answer that question. However I could share some of the strange experiences of early encounters with the lingo on the other side of the Pond, maybe.

    America is a strange country, where they speak funny English. They themselves think just the opposite, however.

    I cannot forget my bewilderment when I saw an American 5-year-old being obsessed about squaws. He was constantly talking about them and seemed to see them behind the trees. There were no Indian women around, but in the end I was enlightened at the moment a squirrel walked over to beg for nuts. It is a [skuirrel] in Europe, but a [skuo+RRl] in America, of course. The brat went somewhat lightly on the second part though.

    In America they "wade a minid", even in offices without any significant pool of water in sight which would be at least knee-deep.
    You'd expect riders to ride horses - nope, in America they ride books.
    In the morning when you find to your consternation that a huge stack of boxes (which appeared overnight) obstructs the passage exactly to your cubicle, they will try to calm you down by insisting madly that they (the boxes, obviously) will "beat their tempo rarely". Yes, it is two words, not one.
    They are strange people with weird ideas about their wars and their games, too. While the whole world prefers to play Golf (while at times waging wars in the Gulf), in America they play Gulf and war in the Golf.

    Even anatomically they are somewhat challenged, because for one reason or another they came to believe that what grows at the bottom part of your body is not a mundane arse, but a donkey (and a default American spell checker built in my browser informs me that "arse" is nonexistent in the English language)

    And the most common word in America they hurl at each other as a greeting or a goodbye, an approval or a suggestion, a piece of advice, as an invitation, in fear or our of sympathy or love is "fock you", which no dictionary lists for some mysterious reason.

Is my impression correct? Or does it never come to a British mind that "wade a minid" or "ride books" are somewhat odd?

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