Separated by a Common Language

Blog URL:http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com
Blog Tags:linguistics, language, English, expat, cross-cultural, Britain, UK

Observations on British and American English by an American linguist living in the UK



Latest Blog Posts



dull and blunt

on Jan 7, 2018

This item ran as a Twitter Difference of the Day back in September, and I've been meaning since then to explore it a bit more. My thanks to Colin Fine, who pointed out a Canadian tale of 'the customer isn't always right' story, in which the writer co...

This is the second of my 2017 Word of the Year posts. For the US>UK winner, see yesterday's post.A Pinterest page credits this photo to Josef GelernterAs I said then, there's always a choice--do I go for the (BrE) slow burner that's been wheedling...

It's that time of year again. The time when everyone's too busy doing fun things in real life to read blogs. Yet I persevere in announcing my Words of the Year here at the butt-end of the year because I don't want to be unfair to December. (And, of c...

Better late than never (I hope) here is the summary of the SEVENTH 'Untranslatable October'—my annual tweeting of an 'British–American untranslatable' (that is, item lexicalized in one national dialect and not the other) on each weekday. If you'd...

optional commas

on Sep 12, 2017

I was tweet-talking with Lane Greene this morning about whether Americans' love for/Britons' indifference to optional commas can be quantified. And so I did a little experiment. And so I'm going to tell you about it.For this I'm comparing the British...

sightedness

on Sep 3, 2017

It's the last morning of my (BrE) holiday/(AmE) vacation—off to the airport in less than two hours. But Will W just pre-wrote for me most of a blog post, so I'm going to take advantage and get another post up before I land back in work reality.Here...

sorted

on Sep 1, 2017

Will Fitzgerald has asked me more than once to cover British use of the adjective sorted. It has made an appearance on the blog before, as part of an Untranslatable October. But that short bit on it does not really give it its due. In the Corpus of G...