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Wikipedia editor’s personal feelings about a topic. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. 16th and early 17th centuries. 570 million people, approximately a quarter of the world’s population at that time. United Kingdom have diverged in a few minor ways, leading to the versions now occasionally referred to as American English and British English. Although, the differences in written and most spoken grammar structure tend to be much less than those of other aspects of the language in terms of mutual intelligibility.
A small number of words have completely different meanings in the two versions or are even unknown or not used in one of the versions. United States spoke a different dialect from Britain, much like a regional accent. This divergence between American English and British English has provided opportunities for humorous comment, e. Britain as in America, one says “an upward motion”. However, AmE has made certain words in this fashion that are still treated as phrases in BrE. Some British English words come from French roots, while American English finds its words from other places, e. Similarly, American English has occasionally replaced more traditional English words with their Spanish counterparts.
Examples of these include grocery markets’ preference in the U. This makes it easier to compare the dialects. Though the influence of cross-culture media has done much to familiarize BrE and AmE speakers with each other’s regional words and terms, many words are still recognized as part of a single form of English. English and treat it much the same as a word borrowed from any other language.
It is generally very easy to guess what some words, such as “driving licence”, mean. American popular culture and literature. Certain terms that are heard less frequently, especially those likely to be absent or rare in American popular culture, e. AmE and BrE but mean different things in each form. Sometimes the confusion is more subtle. I’m quite hungry” means “I’m very hungry”. BrE “I’m quite hungry” can mean “I’m somewhat hungry”.
This divergence of use can lead to misunderstanding. AmE as much as in BrE, despite being old-fashioned or an affection. Terrorism is wrong, full stop”, whereas in AmE, “Terrorism is wrong, period. British English, though sometimes without conscious reference to punctuation.
In BrE, however, the traditional greeting has to a large extent been replaced by the greeting “Happy Christmas”. Both BrE and AmE use the expression “I couldn’t care less” to mean the speaker does not care at all. Some Americans use “I could care less” to mean the same thing. I don’t care” often means, “The matter is trivial or boring”. However, in answering a question such as “Tea or coffee? American may answer, “I don’t care”, while a British person may answer, “I don’t mind”.
Either sounds odd to the other. An example of a restrictive clause is “The dog that bit the man was brown. An example of a non-restrictive clause is “The dog, which bit the man, was brown. In the former “that bit the man” identifies which dog the statement is about.
In the latter, “which bit the man” provides supplementary information about a known dog. A non-restrictive relative clause is typically set off by commas, whereas a restrictive relative clause is not, but this is not a rule that is universally observed. In speech, this is also reflected in the intonation. He implied that his suggested usage was more common in American English.
In Britain, the influences of those who preferred the French spellings of certain words proved decisive. Many of the now characteristic AmE spellings were popularized, although often not created, by Noah Webster. Webster chose already-existing alternative spellings “on such grounds as simplicity, analogy or etymology”. 20th century, but most were not adopted. Later spelling changes in the UK had little effect on present-day US spelling, and vice versa.
There have been some trends of transatlantic difference in use of periods in some abbreviations. Unit symbols such as kg and Hz are never punctuated. This page is intentionally blank. I hope it’s still open! 1996, stated that “American English is spreading faster than British English”.