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British and American English

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  • Melvyn Clarke
    ... Hi Todd, OK I ll swap you lessons in Mancunian drawling for Detroit drawling. I read a story a while back about a newspaper article from Reuters with the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2000
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      >
      >some call me the Detriot Drawler...
      >
      >(or is that drooler?)
      >

      Hi Todd,

      OK I'll swap you lessons in Mancunian drawling for Detroit drawling.

      I read a story a while back about a newspaper article from Reuters with the
      headline
      "STUDENTS THROW ROCKS AT FRENCH PRESIDENT" which had been transcribed word
      for word into British newspapers. A certain British lecturer showed this
      headline to his
      students at the time and asked them for their comments. They pointed out
      that "rocks" was
      American usage. In conservative British English, only a giant in a fairy
      tale would throw rocks
      and "stones" would be used in such a situation unless the students really
      had it in for
      their president. Ten years later the same lecturer showed the same headline
      to a bunch of
      students of the same age and nobody found anything untoward about it. "Rock"
      would not be
      my first choice of word but I am so used to hearing and reading and using
      such American
      variants that it very often would not occur to me to point them out as
      anything special.

      Way I got things figured, we are so used to this kind of ongoing
      Americanization of British
      English that many of us just take it as an inevitable fact.

      Melvyn

      American lady: Do you have children?
      British lady: Not very often.
      (This joke is now very dated, I think)
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