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



I've mentioned making and taking decisions before (15 years ago!), in the context of writing about light verbs. That was back in the days of shorter blog posts. The post began with a reader query:Can you tell me why some people make de...

judg(e)ment

on Mar 6, 2022 in: law

At some point in my American education, I learned that judgment was an American spelling and judgement was the preferred British spelling. Ditto acknowledgment and acknowledgement. But then I moved to England and grew up (possibly in t...

flapjacks and pancakes

on Jan 30, 2022

I cannot believe I've never written a post about the word flapjack. So here it is. In AmE, flapjack is a synonym for pancake, as is hotcake. Hey, it's a big country. We're allowed to have lots of words for things. Here in the south of Engla...

The annual preamble  (you can make that rhyme if you try hard enough)Each year since 2006, this blog has designated Transatlantic Words of the Year (WotY). The twist is that I choose the most 'of the year' borrowings from US-to-UK and from UK-t...

 Click here for the preamble to the 2021 Words of the Year and the UK-to-US word.As I discuss in the post at that link, 2021 was a dry year for US-to-UK borrowings. Some might say that's because BrE is already saturated with them. But it feels t...

I am an inveterate life-logger. At the end of a calendar year, I like to review what I've done, what I've liked, what I've been grateful for, etc. This includes reviewing the books I've read. This year I've had the thought: why not do the languagey b...

cake

on Dec 26, 2021

Baking and baked goods are a perennial source of US/UK miscommunication—in large part because most of our current baking/eating habits were only invented after the split between American and British English. We eat different baked goods with new...