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



Headlines were made when Wikileaks, in their recent targeting of Hillary Clinton, released a transcript of a private speech by Bill Clinton. Most news outlets (orig AmE) zeroed in on a particular passage from the speech for their headlines:It looks,...

I'm feeling a bit of pressure to put nice pictures at the start of my blog posts because the new homepage layout features whichever picture is first. Corpus tables make boring pictures, so I am using this as an excuse to share with you a delightful a...

As previously announced, this was the 6th October during which I tweeted an 'British–American untranslatable' (that is, item lexicalized in one national dialect and not the other) on each weekday. If you'd like to complain that any of these does no...

dandelion clock

on Oct 23, 2016 in: games, plants

Grover and I like to play a bit of (BrE) cod-Pictionary, using the cards from a UK edition of Cranium. She's 8 now, and I've been pretty impressed by her ability to communicate in pictures. So recently we were playing and she drew these two things (h...

yankee in GDoS

on Oct 19, 2016 in: books

First use of ether in dental surgery, from the Wellcome CollectionI was reading the print version of Ernest (No. 4, I think, which I received a while ago as a gift for speaking at Brighton's Catalyst Club) and one of the short bits at the front was a...

lewd

on Oct 12, 2016 in: sex

Photo via CNN.Sorry, I needed a picture.The news around Donald Trump's rapey caught-on-tape comments has seen the word lewd bandied around quite a bit, and I've seen a fair amount of complaint about its use to describe what Trump said. It didn't real...

Last week, Allan Metcalf wrote about commas disappearing from around vocatives. A vocative is a direct address to a person, such as the reader in the following examples: Reader, let me tell you something about commas.Let me tell you something about c...