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



black()currants

on Sep 16, 2016

Grover was off (AmE from) school yesterday (because of a (BrE) dodgy tummy, and we had the following exchange:G: Is there a fruit called currant?Me: Yes, there's blackcurrant and redcurrant.G:  No, but is there any such thing as a currant?Me: Ye...

I feel bad moving the frown post from the top spot on the blog, seeing as it has been AMAZING. In one week, it's had 11,000 more hits than the math(s) post has had in nine years! (And that one is one of my most popular posts!) "Reviews" of the frown...

frowns

on Sep 6, 2016

A 2010 blog post from the Prosody Lab at McGill University was pointed in my direction last week, and judging by the reaction when I tweeted it, I'm not the only one who was surprised by the should-be-evident-but-nearly-invisible difference between B...

write a poem, win a book!

on Aug 28, 2016 in: books

A few days ago I was heard to tweet:Reading a lot of genl-audience books re language these days. My rule: buy the books by sensible ppl, borrow the icky ones from library. 1/— Lynne Murphy (@lynneguist) 26 August 2016You can thus tell how sensible...

Fellow American-linguist-in-Britain Chris Kim mentioned to me the British use of If I'm honest as a discourse-commentary-type idiom, where she would more naturally say To be honest. By 'discourse-commentary-type idiom', I mean: it's a set phrase that...

alumni

on Aug 2, 2016 in: education

Last month Linguist Laura wrote a blog post congratulating the students who were graduating from her program(me). She discusses graduate, then moves on to alumni, excerpted below. I've highlighting the bit that was news to me. My undergraduate alma m...

mental health

on Jul 27, 2016

From Cllr James Baker's websiteWant to bring out the pedant in me? Invite me to help fight the stigma attached to mental health. Then watch me shout: "There is no stigma attached to mental health! There is a stigma attached to mental illness!"I have...